EghtesadOnline: As we approach the first anniversary of the second term of President Hassan Rouhani’s administration in mid-August, the Ministry of Economic and Finance Affairs has released its performance report for the past 11 months (ending June 21).
According to the report published on the ministry’s website, the administration has during the aforementioned period provided 72% of all its resources through the ministry’s affiliates, including the Iran National Tax Administration and the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, and by paying dividends and issuing bonds.
“In terms of privatization, the share of divestment in the real private sector was 100% [in the fiscal 2017-18],” the ministry said, adding that the share of consumption tax has now increased to 54% whereas it stood at 43% when Rouhani started his tenure some five years ago.
According to Financial Tribune, the ministry said Iran’s GDP growth “last year” was higher than those of Saudi Arabia and Russia without specifying whether the year is the Iranian year or 2017. More importantly, it said “according to forecasts, Iran’s economic growth in the coming years will be higher than those of the two countries”.
Iran’s economy grew by 3.7% in the last fiscal year, according to the Central Bank of Iran.
According to the Economy Ministry, Iran’s oil dependency decreased to 29% last year whereas it averaged 35% from the beginning of Rouhani’s tenure up to the end of the fiscal 2016-17.
The rate will further dwindle to 26%, the ministry said.
A portion of the ministry’s report dealt with the capital market. It said the financing rate of the government–through the so-called Sakhab bonds–dropped to 18% from 40%. About 340 trillion rials ($7.77 billion) worth of bonds, including Islamic Treasury bills, were issued to pay off debt-holders.
“For the first time, financing through the capital market reached a record 1.01 quadrillion rials ($23.01 billion)” last year, the ministry said, adding that Tehran Stock Exchange was recognized as one of the top three capital markets in West Asia in 2017 in terms of index yields.
About 50 trillion rials ($1.14 billion) of government debts were cleared through a debt swap scheme with those who owed money to the government.
The ministry’s report also focused on trade and smuggling. It said Iran ranked first and second in the world in the fiscal 2017-18 in terms of combating drug smuggling and contraband respectively.
It pointed out that Iran’s trade balance up until June 17 exceeded $1.25 billion in the positive and that the country’s competitiveness index improved and reached 69 from 76, as attested by the World Economic Forum.
According to the ministry, about 300,000 new taxpayers that evaded paying their dues before were added to the list of the tax administration last year. About 190,000 bank accounts belonging to government-owned companies were eliminated in line with transparency and the budgets of 500 executive bodies were allocated in a centralized manner to curb financial corruption.