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Analyzing Iran’s new state budget

Iran's state budget introduced no major structural changes, but it did improve transparency in some sectors.
TOPSHOT - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks at parliament in the capital Tehran on September 3, 2019. - In an address to parliament, Rouhani ruled out holding any bilateral talks with the United States, saying the Islamic republic is opposed to such negotiations in principle. He also said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to a landmark 2015 nuclear deal "in the coming days" if current negotiations yield no results by September 5. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via

On Dec. 8, President Hassan Rouhani presented his budget bill for the next Iranian year — starting March 21— which he termed a tool of “resistance against US sanctions.” Will the bill's new approaches positively impact Iran’s sanctions-hit economy?

Iran’s budget bills consist of two parts, i.e., a smaller part that reflects the government’s financial framework and a much larger segment that covers the forecasts for all public entities. The total bill has a volume of 19,880 trillion rials ($473 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials to the US dollar). The segment on public companies amounts to 14,250 trillion rials and the government to 5,630 trillion rials. Out of the government budget, 790 trillion rials are dedicated to specific items (such as income from long-term investments that also have specific utility in the budget, i.e., pensions). The rest of the budget is the focus of this article, i.e., the government’s general budget, which is proposed to be 4,840 trillion rials ($115 billion).

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