Iran General NewsIran MPs reject call for subsidy bill withdrawal

Iran MPs reject call for subsidy bill withdrawal

-

ImageReuters: Iran's parliament rejected on Sunday the government's request to withdraw a bill aimed at gradually cutting energy and food subsidies, state radio said. By Reza Derakhshi

ImageTEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran's parliament rejected on Sunday the government's request to withdraw a bill aimed at gradually cutting energy and food subsidies, state radio said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and parliament disagree over control of the money saved through the reform.

The government wants to spend the money in any area it sees fit. But the assembly passed an amendment in November linking the proposed cut in subsidies to the budget and forced the government to put the money into a special account for public spending.

"The government requests the withdrawal of the subsidy reform bill," the government said in a letter to the assembly, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad had previously threatened to kill the plan. But parliament sent the bill to the Guardian Council, a legislative watchdog body, for final approval to become a law.

Ahmadinejad, who still faces opposition protests six months after his re-election in June, wants to save up to $100 billion annually from subsidies on gasoline, natural gas, electricity, water, food, health and education.

Removing subsidies would ease a heavy budget burden and make Iran, a major oil producer, less vulnerable to any new U.N. sanctions on imports over Tehran's disputed nuclear energy program.

Critics believe the government's subsidy reform plan will hurt many ordinary Iranian people already struggling to cope with rising consumer prices. The official inflation rate stands around 15 percent.

"SERIOUS DEMAND"

MPs said they "seriously wanted the bill to be implemented."

"The withdrawal of the bill is unacceptable for MPs … parliament has done a thorough technical examination before passing the bill," said conservative lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli, a critic of Ahmadinejad's economic policy.

State media have said the government will open bank accounts for 36 million people, about half the population, to give them cash to compensate for the higher food and energy prices.

The country has been rocked by anti-government protests since the June vote, which the opposition says was rigged to give Ahmadinejad a second term.

The vote touched off the worst internal crisis in the Islamic Republic's 30-year history. The government denied any fraud in the voting.

Iran, which may face tougher international sanctions in 2010, has set a one-month deadline for six powers to accept its uranium swap proposal.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Latest news

Iran Regime’s Clerics Fear Their Inevitable Overthrow

The danger of demise is greatly scaring the Iran regime’s top clerics, forcing them to confess about it in...

Iran’s Regime Playing With Fire

Trapped in the nuclear talks, which are teetering on the verge of collapse, the Iranian regime has launched a...

Iran and Hezbollah Face Blame for Dual Financial Crises

The United States Treasury Department announced on Friday, January 21, that it would be enforcing sanctions on three Lebanese...

Iran – Conflicting State Policies Deepen Social Crises

The Iranian regime has decided to spend about $800 million to encourage more childbirths in 2022 in an attempt...

NCRI Hosts Conference in France To Address the Need To Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable for Its Crimes

On January 17, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) hosted a conference in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris,...

Iran’s Regime Tries To Whitewash Its Crimes

Iran’s State Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization, which is under the supervision of the Judiciary, has distributed...

Must read

No visa for a kidnapper-diplomat implicated in assassination

Townhall.com: A kidnapper-diplomat is an oxymoron—words with contradictory meanings. In...

Iran said withdraws $75 billion from Europe

Reuters: Iran has withdrawn around $75 billion (38 billion...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you