Iran to deny cash subsidies to some citizens

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TEHRAN: Iran is going to deny cash subsidies to three tenth of its citizens, starting from those with the highest incomes, says MP Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi.

The cash subsidies are paid as part of a subsidy reform plan. Under the plan, Iran’s government pays 455,000 rials (about $15 as of March 17) in cash to each citizen as compensation for increased prices by cutting food and fuel subsidies.

Pourebrahimi said all the tradesmen and owners of private businesses with annual incomes over 350 million rials (about $11,600) will be denied the cash subsidies, IRIB news agency reported March 17.

The payment of 455,000 rials to each Iranian is overwhelming the country’s economy. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh once said the amount imposes such a huge demand on oil revenues that practically nothing is left for developmental projects.

Lawmakers, academic staff, employees of the legislative, executive and judiciary branches, military and civilian retired staff, bank presidents and heads of bank branches will be specifically denied the cash subsidies, said Pourebrahimi.

The MP added that Iranians who live abroad will also cease to receive the cash subsidies.

Households with five or more dependents will be exempt from the exclusion, he pointed out.

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