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Iranian parliament returns Minister Khorram's gifts

Tehran, Feb 3, IRNA -- Parliament on Sunday "for the first time" rejected gifts that had been sent for the deputies by the Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram, the local press reported here on Monday.

The Persian-language daily `Abrar' reported that Khorram had sent several "expensive" television sets for the members of the Development Commission, adding that the Parliament had sent them all back.

The Abrar quoted a member of the Parliament Development Commission Mohammad Mohammad-Rezaei as saying that the Parliament in its Sunday evening session had denied the ministry two batches of credits as specified in the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year of 1382 (beginning March 21, 2003).

Rezaei said the Parliament had made the decision following Khorram's failure to cooperate with the Development Commission and considering the commission's dissatisfaction with his ministry's performance.

He said the batches had been allocated for the shipping and ports sectors of the ministry, one at 450 billion rials (about Dlrs 56 million) and the other at 800 billion rials (Dlrs 100 million).

Rezaei further stressed that the commission's decision manifested the Parliament's reaction toward Khorram's performance at office.

The Development Commission had also on Saturday rejected the 50 percent rise in domestic plane fares enforced by the Roads and Transportation Ministry, and called for concrete proof substantiating the need for the hike.

The commission announced that they had not been convinced by Khorram's arguments in favor of the move, adding that his explanations to the effect had not been "technical".

It has thus given the ministry and the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) a deadline until February 9 to put forward justifications for the increase.

Still, the Abrar has quoted Khorram as telling the commission that the ministry had introduced the air ticket hikes following President Mohammad Khatami's approval in that connection.

... Payvand News - 2/3/03 ... --

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