Fri Mar 5, 2021 05:37:45
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President in a cabinet session:

Gov’t aimed at helping middle-class, lower-income households by aid scheme/ Instructing PBO to begin paying aid from Monday/ Protest people’s right; but protest is different from anarchy

Speaking at a cabinet session on Sunday evening, President referred to the incidents in the last 3 days and said, “The government’s goal by the aid scheme is helping the middle-class and lower-income households”.

news id: 112380 -

Sun 17 - November 2019 - 18:18

Dr Hassan Rouhani said, “To do this, we have no more than three ways; we must either increase taxes, export more oil, or decrease subsidies and return them back to the needy”.

“Our oil sales is facing limitations, and if we did not face any limitations, oil money is not appropriate for this kind of use. In year 1390, we had an income of $110 billion, but the conditions are different today,” he said.

The president added, "We cannot raise taxes too much, because in the current economic conditions of the society taxed need to be balanced".

Stating that for months, we had been discussing how we could support the lower-income classes until conditions improve, he said, "In this government we have worked hard to increase petrol production. In year 1392, petrol produced in the country was 56 million litters per day, compared to 107 million in 1398, and we became self-sufficient in petrol”.

“We used to spend billions of dollars to import petrol in addition to certain problems in buying and importing petrol,” he continued.

Referring to the increase in petrol consumption in the country, Dr Rouhani added, "Fuel consumption has increased last year and earlier this year and grew by an average of 9.7%, and our daily consumption was 97 million litters this year. If this trend continues, we will be importing petrol in year 1400 again”.

He continued, “The petrol that we are selling 15,000 rials a litre, instead of its real price, which stands on 55,000 to 60,000 rials, is being paid from people’s pockets to those who consume petrol”.

“Some households may not have a car or some others may have 1-3 cars. Therefore, people’s fuel consumption is not the same,” he added.

The President continued, “We had to create a kind of balance, in addition to the fact that because the low price of petrol and other energy resources in the country, a huge amount is being smuggled out of the country to neighbours, and the smugglers gain the main benefit”.

Stating that that we must find a way, he said, “I understand that under sanctions and the pressures, any kind of pressure, however slight, is very hard for people”.

“In our calculations, we came to the point that the needs of 60 million people in our society are more than the remaining 22-23 million people. Therefore, it is imperative to help them, who account for 18 million households, by monthly aid,” said the President.

Dr Rouhani continued, “To do this, we worked with economists in the government and reached the conclusion that the issue of petrol requires all bodies to consult and make a decision”.

He said, “We had several meetings with heads of the other two branches taking part, and we reached a conclusion and sent it to the Supreme Leader. Of course, the decisions were slightly different from the latest decision”.

“We believed that this money has to be returned to the lives of people and those who have lower income. Therefore, we were discussing whether a portion of the petrol money should be returned to the treasury and give the rest to the people, or give it all to the people,” he continued.

Stating that the Plan and Budget Organisation (PBO) is required to explain this regularly to people, he said, “The Plan and Budget Organisation should regularly explain to people how much income we have