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Economist says Iranian economy feared to face 3 main challenges

An outspoken economist on Wednesday gave a gloomy picture on prospect of Iranian economy, saying based on studies available economy of the state is expected to face three main challenges in future, including unemployment, inflation and a weak economy compared to that of other countries, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Masoud Nili, the official in charge of Industrial Strategy Compilation, told IRNA here on Wednesday that Iran's per capita income is one third that of South Korea and 70 percent of Malaysia's. He said once upon a time Iran's per capita income was twice the said states'.

He added that should the status quo continue, Iran's per capita income will be equal one fourth of South Korea and half that of Malaysia in the next eight years.

Furthermore, Nili predicted that Iran will face 21 percent unemployment rate and 20 percent inflation rate. The biggest problem with the country's economy in future would be ratio of budget deficit to Gross Domestic Production (GDP).

Nili said Iran's share in the OPEC would reach 7.5 million barrels in the next 18 years .

Iranian MPs support government's reforms program

A large group of parliamentarians on Wednesday threw their weight behind the government's economic reforms program, pledging to help the country maintain its top rank among Middle East and North African states for its 7.3 percent economic growth rate with the exclusion of oil, IRNA reported from Tehran.

A letter, signed by 160 lawmakers, said economic capacity and potential of the country necessitate sustaining the country's top position in the list, achieved by its high economic growth rate.

Iran has reportedly stood first in Middle East and North Africa with an economic growth rate of 7.3 percent, excluding oil.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) said a 10.2 percent growth in the country's agriculture sector and 11 percent in its industry and other sectors had helped the country push up its ranking in the list.

The letter, read out at the open session of Majlis, stressed continuation of reforms policy, including single parity exchange system, taxation reform, aggregate taxes, reforms in export and imports policies, improvement of banking regulations, compilation of a law on capital, notary bonds, value-added taxes and lifting monopolies.

The letter lauded efforts to control prices, hoping that the next budget would be characterized by cutting current expenditures and cost prices of goods as well as improvement of social welfare.

... Payvand News - 7/3/03 ... --

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