Iran General NewsIran limits access to cash grants that replaced subsidies

Iran limits access to cash grants that replaced subsidies

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Bloomberg: Iran has restricted the availability of monthly cash handouts that were intended to offset price increases after a reduction in food and energy subsidies, the Iranian Students News Agency reported. Bloomberg

By Ladane Nasseri

Iran has restricted the availability of monthly cash handouts that were intended to offset price increases after a reduction in food and energy subsidies, the Iranian Students News Agency reported.

About 70 million people are now receiving the payments, said Mohammad-Reza Farzin, the head of subsidy reform, according to the state-run news agency. Officials said last year that about 72.5 million out of a population of 75 million were getting them. Some of the reduction comes from the exclusion of Iranians living abroad, Farzin said.

Iran began to cut subsidies in December 2010 under a five- year plan that won praise from the International Monetary Fund. Its implementation led to inflationary pressures that have intensified this year with the tightening of international economic sanctions imposed to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

The cash payments were increased to 485,000 rials ($39) from 455,000 rials earlier this month to make up for higher bread prices.

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