Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, has slammed the Ahmadinejad administration for failing to reinvest the money it saved by restructuring government subsidies.
ISNA reports that the head of the Expediency Council told members of the Agricultural Council: “The income resulting from restructuring subsidies was supposed to be reinvested in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, but these sectors have not received adequate support.”
He added that the government’s error has led to growing unemployment, and “rising economic problems threaten the future of the country like an awesome avalanche.”
The head of Parliament’s economic development plan also announced that the restructuring of government subsidies has not gone as planned, and it had not foreseen that 95 percent of families would be collecting benefits. Therefore, the second stage of the restructuring, which would have extended funding to the manufacturing sector, will not be carried out this year as planned.
Last year, the Iranian government cut off subsidies on energy and food staples such as wheat and sugar in an attempt to redistribute these funds more equitably. Households have been receiving cash benefits to help compensate for the sudden rise in energy and food prices, but it appears the government has been unable to fund the handouts adequately, using money from other government budgets to make the payments. Many have criticized this practice and claim the government is breaking the law.