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Iran: Expediency Council calls for lower banking interest rates

says Tehran, Jan 1, IRNA -- The Expediency Council called on the government to pay off all its debts to the banking system and required the banks to lower their interest rates, Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei said on Saturday.

In the last article of approval of the Expediency Council on financial and monetary issues, the top policy making body underscored the need for restructuring of the banking system to boost its efficiency, reduce banking expenses and make low interest loans accessible to the ordinary people, Rezaei said.

"The Expediency Council calls for cutting the interest rate to a fair level to boost industrial output and employment. The banks should cut interest rate for both the loans and for the deposits of the people," he said.

"The Expediency Council called for repayment of the government's and state companies' arears to the banks to help them provide the public with soft loans at lower interest rate," he said.

He said that the Expediency Council has decided to monitor the performance of the banking system by establishing special expert committees to determine whether or not they observe the Islamic criteria.

"Currently special offices have been set up in Bahrain and Jeddah to see how the Islamic banks are operating there in order to help the banking system correspond to international standards," Rezaei said.

... Payvand News - 1/1/05 ... --

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