Iranian government stalled its controversial plan to cut
government subsidies for another month although Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's first
deputy had announced that the plan will take effect in September.
The cutting of the 100-billion dollar government subsidies has
been cause for concern amongst Iranians as fears of sharp rise in the price of
basic everyday needs looms large.
The government has announced that they will directly give social assistance to
needy families in order to counter the adverse effects of this plan.
The plan had already been delayed six months due to disputes between Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's government and the parliament over the details of the project.
The failure of the government to deliver the cash benefits to eligible families
has been cited as the reason for the latest delay.
Two weeks ago, Iran's Statistics Bureau announced that they are collecting new
information regarding financial situation of households to establish accounts
for them where they can receive government assistance.
In the meantime, director of subsidy reform has told Mehr news agency that
people will not be allowed to withdraw from these accounts before energy prices
While some analysts predict that the cutting of subsidies will create high
inflation rates which will burden the poor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad contends that
the plan will be to the benefit of the lower classes and "end poverty in the