October 17, 2006, RFE/RL -- The head of the agency that oversees provincial budgets has asked President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to reverse a move to dramatically expand local control over spending, Iran's semi-official news agency Mehr reported today.
Ahmadinejad recently issued an order demanding that provincial administrations be given overall responsibility over local budget planning.
Farshad Rahbar, who heads the Planning and Budget Organization that is responsible for managing provincial budgets from Tehran, reportedly urged Ahmadinejad in a letter to rescind the order.
Rahbar is said to have argued in his letter that the benefits and drawbacks of decentralization should be carefully weighed before any decision is made.
Critics have suggested that Ahmadinejad's order could lead to provincial administrations paying too little attention to the long-term interests of the Iranian state.
But former conservative lawmaker Maryam Behrouzi told Iran's ISNA news agency today that she thinks Ahmadinejad's order would benefit the Planning and Budget Organization.
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