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Iran's Guardian Council endorses bills on forex revenue increase, taxes

Tehran, Jan 19, IRNA -- The oversight Guardian Council on Sunday endorsed the government-proposed bill, already approved by Majlis, for amending Article 60 of the Third Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2000-2005) to raise the ceiling of forex revenues in the next fiscal year.

Majlis had recently increased the government's hard currency ceiling for the next fiscal year to dlrs 15.438 billion from former dlrs 11.5788 billion per the bill.

The government would thus be allowed to draw a cash of dlrs 2.5 billion out of the Forex Reserve Fund to repay matured debts of the years 1999-2002, and prevent further borrowing from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The sum will also be spent on implementing development projects in the water sector.

The government had asked for raising the ceiling to dlrs 15.3 billion but the Majlis posted an additional dlrs 138 million to help the executive body implement water development projects.


The Council of Guardians also approved in its Sunday session the Bill on Aggregate Taxes, passed earlier by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, an official told IRNA here on Sunday.

The Majlis last month gave final approval to the eight-point government proposed Bill on Aggregate Taxes, ending months of heated debate on the government-sponsored legislation.

The legislation body banned any duty and tax on imported goods and services under any law other than the present one.

It authorized civic bodies in urban and rural areas to levy duties on local residents within the framework of laws and regulations, set by the government and passed by the Interior Ministry.

The bill rules codification of duties or taxes on local residents -- other than the ones in the present list -- based on reports compiled and set forward on February 4 each year for enforcement in the next Iranian year which begins in March.

It nullifies the regulations which authorized municipalities to specify discounts or exempt any service from duty.

The taxes on variety of goods and services would under the law be deposited into the government account but duties received from production and services units or power, gas and phone subscribers in urban areas would be extended to accounts of municipality offices related to the district concerned.

The revenues from duties levied on production and services units and subscribers outside cities would be distributed among regional municipality offices.

The Majlis mandated the Interior Ministry to receive duties paid for fuel resources, home-made cigarettes, and auto registration services.

The ministry would thus spend 15 percent of the revenue on cities with over one million population, 65 percent on other cities and 20 percent among small towns.

The Bill on Aggregate Taxes exempts exporters of Iran-made goods, including soft drinks, and services by singling them out of the list of commodities on which taxes and duties ranging from two percent to 20 percent of their codified values have to be paid.

The Majlis had in its seventh meeting on the bill endorsed duties and taxes in proportion to 20 percent official market price of gasoline as of next year. Ten and five percent taxes would be levied on kerosene and furnace oil respectively per the ratification.

The legislature levied a three percent duty and tax on other goods, excluding agricultural products, six percent on telecommunication services, three percent on household consumption of power and gas by urban residents, excluding consumption by the industry, mineral and agriculture sectors, two percent on hotel and club services, and five percent on tickets for intercity and city railway, as well as for air, land and sea transportation.

Cars operating for over five years from the date of purchase would be entitled to 10 percent tax and duty discount.

The government was also authorized by the Majlis to receive money for issuance of entrance and exit cards and permits for passengers.

The Islamic Consultative Assembly recently rejected a proposal in the bill on exemption of auto industry from duty and tax payment, envisaging six percent duties and taxes on the industry sector.

A commission, comprising Ministers of Economy and Finance, Commerce, Industries and Mines, and Interior as well as Head of the State Management and Planning Organization, will be formed under the bill to provide as of February 4 each year a list of goods that would undergo duty and tax payment to the tune of three percent of their values.

Domestically-made soft drinks and cigarettes, gasoline, kerosene and oil gas would be exceptions since duty and tax on them would follow separate formulas.

The two bills, thus turned into a law after the Guardian Council approval would be enforced as of next Iranian year which begins in March.

... Payvand News - 1/20/03 ... --

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