EghtesadOnline: The budget allocated to cash subsidy payments in the next fiscal year (starting March 21) has increased by 70 trillion rials ($1.55 billion) to reach 300 trillion rials ($6.66 billion) after lawmakers called for a revision of the budget bill, a member of the commission said.
"The recent boost to monthly payment budget suggests that few people will be removed from the list of cash subsidy recipients," IRNA also quoted Hamideh Zarabadi as saying.
The first draft of the budget bill was rejected by lawmakers on various grounds, including the proposal to remove 33 million people from the cash subsidy list through a two-stage process.
The joint commission is a parliamentary body responsible for reviewing the budget bill as well as the five-year economic development plans proposed by the government before its final ratification, Financial Tribune reported.
President Hassan Rouhani presented the budget bill to the parliament on Dec. 10.
"As per an addendum to the bill by the commission, people covered by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and State Welfare Organization, rural residents and low-income individuals, particularly residents of deprived suburban areas, will not be subject to the cash subsidy downsizing program," Zarabadi said.
The commission has allowed the government to gradually remove 33 million people from the list of cash subsidy receivers in the next fiscal year (March 2017-18).
As part of the Subsidy Reform Plan, the government of President Hassan Rouhani’s predecessor removed food and energy subsidies in 2010 and instead paid 455,000 rials ($10) to each and every Iranian on a monthly basis. The controversial plan has been retained by the current administration.