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Lawmakers snub Ahmadinejad reform plan

Press TV - Iranian members of parliament have voted against the government's proposed Economic Reform Plan on redistributing subsidies in cash.

Lawmakers reviewing the 289-billion-dollar budget bill proposed by the Ahmadinejad government for the next Iranian calendar year, voted to remove the clause pertaining to the redistribution of subsidies in cash.

Some 132 parliamentarians voted in favor of removing the clause, 102 lawmakers voted against excluding the subsidies clause and nine abstained.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed a 20-billion-dollar economic reform plan which would entail cutting subsidies for fuel, natural gas and electricity and redistributing hard cash among low-income families to compensate for the price hike caused by the plan.

The plan aims to reduce dependency on oil revenues and to tackle the country's economic problems namely the rising inflation rate.

Iran's economy is vastly dependent on oil as it accounts for 80 percent of the country's foreign exchange revenues. The sharp downward spiral of oil prices has prompted economists to predict that Tehran will face a considerable budget deficit within the space of a few months.

Iranian lawmakers on Sunday approved the general outline of the budget bill for the next calendar year to begin March 21.

... Payvand News - 03/09/09 ... --

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