Source: Press TV
Tehran has launched a campaign to promote an economic reform plan after parts
of the proposal faced public disapproval in October.
Official figures put the annual inflation in Iran at 29.4 percent in
the twelve months that ended in September. The Iranian president has
proposed a sweeping economic reform package he says will ease the
In July 2008, the Iranian government announced that a value-added tax (VAT)
mechanism would be introduced in the country by autumn, under which businesses
would have to pay 3 percent of their sales receipts as tax.
As the date for the implementation of the plan approached, merchants from
Tehran's Bazaar -- the commercial heart of the country -- went on strike in
protest at the VAT plan.
Following 10 days of widespread demonstrations across Iran, President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad announced that he would introduce a bill to delay the implementation
of the tax mechanism by at least one year.
According to Tabnak, economic experts in the country have launched a
campaign directed at ending the controversy surrounding the reform proposal; the
plan is currently being discussed in various economic circles.
Critics of the plan demand that the Iranian government permanently revoke the
program, arguing that the mechanism would contribute to creeping inflation.
Proponents of the plan, however, insist that VAT will help the country shift its
dependency from oil revenues to indirect taxation.
The committee responsible for promoting the reform plan is actively organizing
meetings and briefings across the country to prepare Iranian commercial circles
for the long-anticipated economic changes.
President Ahmadinejad has long promised a populist economic platform that would
challenge cronyism and corruption.
After 4 years of Ahmadinejad administration, however, the Iranian president has
been the recipient of severe criticism.
Sixty leading economists from major Iranian universities have recently
criticized the president in an open letter, saying he has not taken corrective
measures to deal with the economic decline in the country.
President Ahmadinejad responded to the criticism by saying that his economic
reform package -- submitted to parliament -- will eventually be able to resolve
the economic problems gripping the country.
... Payvand News - 12/24/08 ... --
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