EghtesadOnline: The government has estimated 10 trillion rials ($38.46 million) for the procurement of coronavirus vaccine in the budget bill of the next fiscal year (March 2021-22), an official with Plan and Budget Organization and spokesperson of Budget 1400 Headquarters said.
“The Health Ministry will see its annual spending package increase by 138% to reach 770 trillion rials [$2.96 billion] next year from the current year’s 320 trillion rials [$1.23 billion],” Mojgan Khanlou was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Noting that an average 150% wage growth is projected for health workers next year, the official said, “As per the bill proposed by the government, health sector’s resources from the value added tax earnings will increase by 22% to reach 90 trillion rials [$346.15 million]. Resources earmarked for the procurement of pharmaceuticals, vaccine and baby formula will rise 61% to reach 36.85 trillion rials [$141.73 million]. The government has estimated 10 trillion rials [$38.46 million] for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine.”
In related news, Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said Iranian efforts to buy Covid-19 vaccine through COVAX have been hampered by money transfer issues arising from US sanctions.
COVAX is a global initiative undertaken by the World Health Organization aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.
“Thus far, any mechanism used to make payment and transfer the required currency has faced hurdles due to the inhumane sanctions of the US government and the need to secure permits from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury,” he said.
According to the central bank chief, Iran’s efforts to spend its funds blocked in South Korea to pay for the vaccine have also been rejected by the US.
Hemmati added that Iran is pursuing “other paths” to pay for the vaccine and is in negotiations with other countries.
Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri submitted the budget bill for the next fiscal year (March 2021-22) to the parliament last week.
In the next fiscal year (starting March 21, 2021), the operating budget (including revenues derived mainly from taxation and exports at the disposal of the government) has been projected to stand at 8,413 trillion rials ($33.65 billion at the market exchange rate of 250,000 rials per dollar).
Add to this, revenues exclusive to ministries and governmental institutions worth 884 trillion rials ($3.53 billion) take the total sum of the general budget to 9,298 trillion rials ($37.19 billion).
The budget of state companies, banks and for-profit organizations has been put at 15,619 trillion rials ($62.47 billion).
All in all, the government’s total budget ceiling has been set at 24,357 trillion rials ($97.42 billion).