EghtesadOnline: The parliament has approved parts of the fiscal 2021-22 budget bills, based on which newlywed couples can receive marriage loans worth up to 1 billion rials ($4,000) next year.
Lawmakers on Wednesday decided to increase the loan by at least 40%. The loan will increase from the current 500 million rials to 700 million rials per couple, the parliamentary news website ICANA reported.
To encourage early marriage, the loans will double to 1 billion rials per couple if the bride is below 23 years and the groom under 25.
Marriage loans are interest-free bank loans to be repaid in seven years.
Over the years, marriage loans have increased due to runaway inflation and the decline in living standards depriving many young people from tying the knot.
The 30-million-rial loan five years ago is now 500 million rials ($2,000) per partner. It was raised from 150 million to 300 million rials ($1,200) per spouse in the last fiscal year.
As per the rules, couples can apply for loans by a maximum of two years after the pronouncement of their marriage. Lenders have been told to prioritize the processing and approval of marriage loans.
Banks gave 659,000 marriage loans worth 344 trillion rials ($1.37 billion) to newlyweds since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2020) till Dec 10.
According to Ali-Asghar Mirmohammad-Sadeghi, the Central Bank of Iran’s vice governor for credit affairs, marriage loans have continued since their inception in 1985 and are reflected in government budgets.
Mirmohammad-Sadeghi said the CBI set up a special platform in 2010 to monitor the marriage loans.
"Lenders have thus far paid 12,258 million marriage loans worth 1,172 trillion rials ($4.68 billion),” he added.
The government and relevant organizations have often voiced concern over the declining marriage rates and are offering financial incentives to encourage the youth to marry sooner.