Tehran Chamber of Commerce proposes govt. budget reforms

Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) has put forward three specific proposals for the government to carry out a structural overhaul of its budget.

21 July 2019
ID : 22114
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Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) has put forward three specific proposals for the government to carry out a structural overhaul of its budget.

Masoud Khansari, the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) has put forward three specific proposals for the government to carry out a structural overhaul of its budget.

The heads of three branches of power (executive, judiciary, legislative) approved on Saturday the four main outlines of an initiative to improve budgeting and help reduce the country’s dependence on oil revenues.

“Institutional bolstering of budget, improving spending efficiency, generating sustainable revenue growth and achieving macroeconomic stability and sustainable development are the main pivots of reforms that will be introduced to the budget within nine packages,” the head of Plan and Budget Organization (PBO), Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, wrote on Twitter.

“Each package will feature short-, medium- and long-term plans and recommendations that will be weighed by special task forces from three branches of power; the Supreme Council of Economic Coordination will then be briefed on the developments,” he added.

Last month, PBO uploaded the framework of budget reforms on its website and asked for comments from experts.

The recommendations put forward by TCCIM include reforming subsidies, reducing the budget of public companies and scrapping the allocation of subsidized foreign currency to imports, Financial Tribune reports. 

Budget deficit is projected to stand between 1,000 and 1,500 trillion rials ($8.4-$12.6 billion) this year (March 2019-20), TCCIM President Masoud Khansari said on Tuesday.

The government’s overall revenues during the nine months amounted to 575.8 trillion rials ($4.5 billion), indicating a rise of 69.2% year-on-year, while its spending hit 1026.9 trillion rials ($8.13 billion) to register a 41.5% growth YOY.

Notably, Tax revenues were estimated to hover around 1,074.3 trillion rials ($8.5 billion), but they reached 771.2 trillion rials ($6.1 billion), registering a 12.8% increase YOY.

According to Khansari, the 26 articles related to budget reform published by the Plan and Budget Organization on its website are imprecise and have been already pointed out in five-year development plans and annual budgets.

They don’t appear to offer a cure for any problem, he said, noting that TCCIM has worked out three specific solutions for reforming the structure of country’s budget, the paper reports. 

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