EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to submit the budget bill for the upcoming fiscal year (March 2018-19) to the parliament on Sunday after the Cabinet approved it on Wednesday, the government spokesman and president of Planning and Budget Organization said.
“One of the features of next year’s budget is the performance-based allocation of budget to each governmental body and not the traditional method of distributing the money according to the treasury inflows,” Mohammad Baqer Nobakht was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The current fiscal year’s budget stood at 11.5 quadrillion rials ($305 billion) as per the law approved by the parliament back in March just before the beginning of the year. It includes 3.98 quadrillion rials ($90.5 billion) earmarked as “general revenues”, in addition to a whopping 8 quadrillion rials ($211 billion) to fund state companies, institutions and banks.
According to the latest data released by the Central Bank of Iran, the government’s revenues in the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22) amounted to 567.8 trillion rials ($14.19 billion), registering a 3.7% decline year-on-year, Financial Tribune reported.
This is while spending hit a whopping 1,074.9 trillion rials ($26.87 billion) during the period under review, posting a rise of 13% over last year's corresponding period.
Iran’s budget deficit came in wider than expected in the six months of the current fiscal year to reach 181.1 trillion rials ($4.52 billion). The shortfall was higher than forecast, which was 163.8 trillion rials ($4.09 billion).
Nobakht noted that according to Article 28 of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), the government’s current spending should reduce by 5% by the end of the next fiscal year (March 2019).
Revenues associated with the sales of oil and petroleum products reached 446.6 trillion rials ($11.16 billion) in H1, indicating an 82.2% rise compared with the same period of last year, but less than the projected 580.4 trillion rials ($14.51).
Asadollah Qarekhani, the spokesperson of Majlis Energy Commission, said Iran may plan its budget for the fiscal 2018-19 based on a crude price of $55 per barrel as it is confident of higher oil prices and improved outlook for global markets.
The parliament-approved budget needs the final endorsement of the Guardians Council—the body in charge of ascertaining the constitutional and Islamic nature of all laws.