EghtesadOnline: The Majlis Joint Commission has allowed the government to gradually remove 33 million people from the list of cash subsidy recipients in the next fiscal (March 2017-18).
A lawmaker said the downsizing of the cash subsidy program will be a two-stage process.
Noting that a sudden removal of 33 million people would pose a challenge for the government, Fatemeh Hosseini added that as the joint commission proposed on Sunday, high-income households will be removed from the program in the first three months of the next fiscal year (starting March 21), the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
“By monitoring individuals’ financial transactions, the government would be able to identify high-income households. Those recipients who are unwilling to have their transactions monitored can opt out of the program voluntarily,” Financial Tribune quoted her as saying.
The commission has set the ceiling for revenues from the Subsidy Reform Plan at 370 trillion rials ($8.6 billion) next year, out of which 230 trillion rials ($5.34 billion) will be paid to Iranian households in the form of cash subsidies.
“A total of 70 trillion rials ($1.62 billion) will be spent for eliminating the absolute poverty of households covered by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and State Welfare Organization, as well as social insurance for the female breadwinners of needy families,” Hosseini said.
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 ($10.5) to each and every Iranian on a monthly basis. The controversial plan has been retained by the current administration.