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President Khatami unveils details of Iran's budget bill for 1383

Iran's budget bill for the next calendar year of 1383 (to start March 20, 2004) stands at 1,069,532 billion rials, registering a growth of 10.5 percent compared to that of 1382, President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Khatami, speaking at the Majlis before presenting the bill to the chamber, said Iran's economic growth in 1383 has been estimated to reach 7.3 percent with a perceived increase of 7.7 percent in gross domestic product (GDP).

He also said the development of Iran's agriculture and industrial sectors are anticipated to stand at 5.5 percent and 9.5 percent respectively next year.

Khatami further stressed that investment in Iran's domestic enterprises will increase by 7.9 percent in 1383, adding that the government expects the investments to increase by 7.8 percent by the end of the current Iranian calendar year of 1382 (March 19, 2004).

He also said that the next year's budget bill places special significance on strategies to promote privatization, decentralization, employment and distribution of resources.

Khatami said these strategies have been especially drawn up to encourage the "broad involvement" of the private sector in pushing forward the country's development.

This, he stressed, will accordingly set the stage for improving the distribution of resources.

Khatami said minimizing the size of the government, preparing the ground for the participation of the private sector in development projects, and attracting domestic and foreign investment to promote employment for the youth are the main strategies of Iran's 1383 budget bill.

He also said that compiling fiscal policies to guarantee Iran's economic growth, continuing policies to stabilize the economy by relying on forex reserves and unifying exchange rates will be other highlights of the bill.

Khatami said the government's public budget in 1383 will total 509,131 billion rials, adding that this indicates a growth of 16.8 percent compared to 1382.

He stressed that that the bill will seek to boost state revenues by selling the shares of governmental institutions to the private sector and increasing the taxes.

Khatami said the revenues derived from state taxes are expected to increase from the current 23.4 percent to 28.4 percent in 1383. He also said that the ratio of tax revenues to state credits will increase to 47.5 percent in the next Iranian calendar year from the current 35.8 percent.

This, Khatami stressed, would set the stage for materialization of the government's goal in the Fourth Economic Development Plan (2005-2010) to allocate oil revenues to increase human and physical resources for the development of the country.

The Iranian president also stressed that Iran's state subsidies will reach over 39,700 billion rials from the current 36,300 billion rials, stressing that this will indicate a growth of 9.4 percent.

Khatami further said the 1383 budget bill has allocated 231,411 billion rials for the investment by state institutions and banks, stressing that this will be 11.8 percent above the figure for 1382.

He added that 8.1 percent of the investments by state institutions will be covered by public revenues, and that the rest will be supported by other resources that will be allocated to those institutions.

Khatami said that 684,178 billion rials has been allocated in the bill for governmental companies, adding that over 95,000 billion rials has also been allocated for the development projects.

He said the price of oil in the 1383 budget bill will be decided on the basis of international prices and regional quotations.

Khatami said the bill's reliance on oil revenues stands at about 48 percent, stressing that the government will continue its serious plans to make state reserves independent from oil revenues.

He also said that the anticipated growth of value added in oil and gas sectors will edge up by about 0.5 percent in 1383.

Majlis will soon start its debates over the bill in several specialized parliamentary commissions.

... Payvand News - 12/24/03 ... --

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