Iran’s draft budget for the Iranian year 1393, starting on 21 March 2014, will be based on an oil price assumption of $100/B, a member of the Majlis Budget and Planning Commission Hadi Qavami told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on 1 December. This price compares with $95/B for the 2012-13 budget (MEES, 1 March). The government was scheduled to present the new budget to parliament on 4 December, but this has now been postponed for a few days.

Mr Qavami says that the 2013-14 general budget covers current and investment expenditure totaling IR1,910 trillion, up from IR1,710 trillion in the current year. The draft budget will be based on an “official” exchange rate of $1=IR26,000. The free market rate is around $1=IR29,000. Although the increase in the general budget is 11.7% in nominal terms, soaring inflation implies a sharp budget cut in real terms. Latest inflation is officially 36%, but could be as high as double that or more according to independent economists. (CONTINUED - 370 WORDS)