EghtesadOnline: The ministries of defense, health and education as well as the Civil Servants Pension Organization consume the lion’s share of the government’s budget, the head of Planning and Budget Organization of Iran said.
Noting that the government does not have much leeway to reduce the budget of these four, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht also said the current fiscal year’s (March 2017-18) budget saw a 73% rise over three years ago to stand at 2.07 quadrillion rials ($53.07 billion), adding that the development budget grew by 90% over the same period, excluding the resources allocated by the National Development Fund, to stand at 420 trillion rials ($10.76 billion), IRNA reported.
The Central Bank of Iran’s latest budgetary report shows the budget deficit widened much more than expected in the first four months of the current year, reaching 161.9 trillion rials ($4.15 billion), up 26.8% compared with the similar period of last year.
To cover the widening deficit, the government has been issuing bonds. The four-month data show 173.9 trillion rials ($4.45 billion) worth of bonds were issued during the period, showing a 28.5% rise compared with the similar period of the year before, Financial Tribune reported.
Spending stood at 741.3 trillion rials ($19 billion) during the period under review, indicating a rise of 22.6% year-on-year. The government’s overall revenues, including tax proceeds, amounted to 374.8 trillion rials ($9.6 billion), registering a 5.7% decline YOY.