Iranians’ purchasing power has declined by 72 percent in the past eight years, according to the daily Iranian newspaper Shargh.

In its issue of Monday March 4, Shargh writes: “The trend in the rise of incomes and expenses, according to the national growth rate over the past eight years, reveals that the purchasing power of Iranians has declined by 72 percent.

Shargh writes that the dollar has gone up from 8,740 rials in 2005 to 32,000 rials at the beginning of 2013, which means a 10-million rial monthly salary used to be worth $1,114 but now amounts to $313.

The government has approved a 20-percent increase in monthly salaries, which according to Shargh, will set the minimum salary at 4.67 million rials, starting at the commencement of the Iranian New Year on March 21.

Experts have said production units will find it impossible to sustain such a minimum salary, and it will definitely cause widespread plant closures.

The prices of many goods in Iran have reportedly risen by 100 percent in the past year, and Parliament reported in February that the current rate of inflation is 21.8 percent.

The Iranian economy has been facing steep increases in prices and the inflation rate following the scrapping of government subsidies and the intensification of international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear disputes with the West.