The Iranian parliament on 17 February approved an amendment to next year’s budget law, restricting the payment of cash handouts in the second phase of the country’s subsidies reform plan.

The reform is intended to limit such payments to families whose annual income is below a certain level; although this level has yet to be determined. The second phase of the plan was originally planned to start in June, but this has now been brought forward to the beginning of the Iranian year which starts on 21 March (MEES, 14 February). (CONTINUED - 728 WORDS)