President Hassan Rohani’s first deputy Eshagh Jahangiri has called on the public to give him feedback on what they believe should be the income cut-off rate for receiving government cash benefits.
ISNA reports that Jahangiri calls for input from people on the eligibility criteria for receiving of cash benefits. The government has been paying out cash benefits in order to cushion the changes resulting from the scrapping of government subsidies on energy and food staples.The government has now decided to give the payments only to households in need rather than distributing them indiscriminately to all families.
Jahangiri states that fifty percent of revenues from scrapping of subsidies was supposed to be paid out to families and another fifty percent was to be invested in the manufacturing sector and development and health projects. Instead all the money has been used as cash payments to families and another 450 trillion rials had to be borrowed from the treasury to make all the payments.
The Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration only focused on distributing cash payments leaving the administration of Hassan Rohani which took over the executive branch last August with serious budget shortfall.
The minister of economy recently reported that before implementation of the restructuring of subsidies in 2010 the economy had a growth rate of 5.8 percent with inflation at 12.4 percent. In comparison currently inflation sits around 40 percent and the economy in shrinking by 5.8 percent.