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Majlis Adopts 1390 Budget Bill

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, My 9 (ICANA) –The Iranian Parliament finally adopted the government's 5,390-trillion-rial (513-billion-dollar) budget bill for the 2011-2012 fiscal year (Iranian calendar year 1390) Monday.
Monday, May 09, 2011 8:39:18 PM
Majlis Adopts 1390 Budget Bill

The Majlis approved the budget bill after holding 17 open sessions.

Out of 207 MPs present at the parliament session 144 voted for and 29 against the bill. Also, 12 MPs abstained.

The bill was submitted on February 20, a month before the beginning of the new Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2011).

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's delay in submitting the bill sparked criticism from lawmakers, who said Majlis did not have sufficient time to review all aspects of the bill.

The Parliament had approved a short-term emergency budget for March and April.

This year's budget shows a 45-percent increase compared with that of last year which stood at USD 368 billion.

The rise is partly due to the government's subsidy reform plan, which was launched in December 2010.

The plan aims to gradually remove subsidies on gasoline, natural gas, electricity and food over a five-year period and instead give families cash handouts as compensation.

Some economists criticize the plan, saying it has led to a hike in prices for essential commodities and will raise the inflation rate.

 

Budget Based on $81.50pb Oil

 

Iran's OPEC governor said that the country is basing the oil price for its 2011/12 budget at around $81.50 per barrel and expects the price of oil to pick up again during the start of the summer season.

"We are basing the oil price in our budget which will be finalized in about two to three days at around $81.5," Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that prices are expected to recover as the summer season approaches.

Typically Iran is one of the OPEC members that had always given a preference to higher oil prices in order to support its economy.

Over the past week, oil prices had fallen by a record of more than $16 a barrel on demand worries and a move by investors to slash commodities exposures.

On Friday, Brent crude fell $1.67 to settle at $109.13 a barrel in heavy trade, with volumes twice the 30-day moving average.

"One reason for the fall in prices is because the dollar gained strength, and to some degree a stronger dollar does compensate the lower oil price," said Khatibi.

He also attributed the drop in price to reports indicating high unemployment rates in the United States which drove traders into a profit booking frenzy.

"There is such a rush right now with traders to sell out of both oil and gold, but as I said when gasoline demand grows higher in the summer the prices could rise again."

Following supply disruptions earlier this year from OPEC member Libya, many of the cartel's members had stepped in to fill the gap and had repeatedly stressed that the market was well supplied.

"Currently the market is still well supplied and we all agree that there is no shortage," said Khatibi.

"OPEC is due to meet in June, and if supply remains at the current levels there will be no need to boost output," Khatibi added.

"We will continue to watch the market and the geopolitical and economic situation, but if there is no shortage in supply there is no need to increase OPEC supply."

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