As Iran struggles to balance its fiscal budget with oil prices fluctuating around $45-50/B, the Iranian parliament is pressing on with plans to reduce its cash subsidies bill. Specifically, it is focusing on the sensitive issue of cutting the number of recipients of cash handouts paid by the state under the subsidy reform plan. The issue has proven contentious and difficult to implement, but if successful could save the government considerable sums.

The government has paid IR137,000bn ($3.9bn) in cash subsidies during the first four months of the current fiscal year (21 March - 21 July), Mohammad Mofateh, spokesman of the Majlis Planning and Budget Commission told a local news agency. (CONTINUED - 719 WORDS)