Ahmadinejad blasts Iranian Parliament
Iranian president criticizes parliament's decision to make changes to country's $298-billion budget.
By THE MEDIA LINE NEWS AGENCY
March 18, 2009 12:45
1 minute read.
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a sharp letter to the speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, addressing the changes the members of parliament made to the country's $298-billion budget.
The letter focuses on the decision by the MPs to scrap the plans for the removal of government subsidies on fuel, several news agencies reported.
In the letter, Ahmadinejad said that the MPs did not respect different provisions of the constitution and that the budget adopted was not what the government had proposed, according to the agencies.
"It's absolutely crucial because the proposed fuel rises would have totally devastated the economy and would have put huge pressure on the average household because it would have hiked up inflation even further," Prof. Anoush Ehteshami of the University of Durham in the United Kingdom told The Media Line.
Fuel prices are subsidized heavily by the government and the proposal to cancel them, which would take effect by the end of the week, would have generated an estimated $20 billion for the government during the current financial year. However, it would have made life much harder for businesses and households since they all depend on cheap fuel for running their businesses and transport.
According to the original proposal the money saved would have been redistributed to the people as a means of easing the increasing economic pressure from the country's rising inflation, which is reported to be 25.9 percent in March.
"It's not surprising that the parliament has acted, given the pressure that the parliamentarians themselves would have been under from their constituencies," Ehteshami said.