EghtesadOnline: The Targeted Subsidies Organization has allocated 4 trillion rials ($17.5 million) for importing 10 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine.
The Targeted Subsidies Law of 2010 authorized the reduction of food and energy subsidies, and instead allowed the payment of monthly cash handouts, ILNA reported.
Iran aims to vaccinate its 13 million high-risk population by late July to reduce the coronavirus pandemic’s death rate, President Hassan Rouhani has said.
“As per the Health Ministry’s plan, 13 million people will be immunized against Covid-19 by July 22,” the president was quoted as saying by his website.
Mojgan Khanlou, an official with the Plan and Budget Organization of Iran, said 35% of the resources estimated for the implementation of the Targeted Subsidies Law were not realized in the eight months to Nov. 20 due to the decline in revenues from oil exports and domestic gasoline consumption, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus and reduction in journeys.
“To avert a delay in cash subsidy payments, Islamic financial bonds were issued with the approval of the Supreme Council of Economic Coordination,” she was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Noting that as per the budget bill of the next fiscal year (March 2021-22), the Targeted Subsidies Organization is allowed to issue its own bonds to compensate the deficit in its budget, the official said, “The value of bonds permitted to be issued in the current year [March 2020-21] stands at 880 trillion rials [$3.9 billion]. The Sixth Five-Year Development Plan [2017-22] has projected 550 trillion rials [$2.4 billion] in Islamic financial bonds for the year ending March 2022. The government also intends to sell [oil] salaf bonds worth 700 trillion rials [$3 billion]. As a result, the overall bonds that will be issued by the government next year won’t exceed 1,250 trillion rials [$5.5 billion] but state companies are allowed to issue bonds under their own guarantee and payment scheme.”
The government will pay 428 trillion rials ($1.9 billion) in cash and non-cash subsidies in the current Iranian year (started March 21) as per the budget law. On top of that, it will allocate 310 trillion rials ($1.3 billion) for the implementation of the so-called Livelihood Assistance Program, i.e., cash transfers as compensation for higher gasoline prices introduced in November 2019.
Rouhani said Pasteur Institute of Iran’s vaccine jointly produced with Cuba will be ready for inoculation next week.
“CoV Pasteur is set for public use by late May and COV-Iran Barekat will become available by late June,” he added.
According to an earlier announcement, Iran will have the capacity to produce 20 million shots of the vaccine every month, exponentially speeding up the national vaccination program.
Rouhani stated recently that the country is passing the peak of the fourth wave of the outbreak and most provinces are reporting a downtrend in infections.