Mon Aug 15, 2022 03:21:16
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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”.

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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 had, and that the entirety of this income has to be paid to people, without any penny of it being deposited to the treasury”.

He continued, “Our current calculations say that we can pay 550,000 rials to a single-member family to 2,050,000 rials. And we WILL do this”.

“If this income increases, we will definitely increase the payment as well. We will tell people exactly how much the entire income is and where it has been spent on. Our noble people should be able to monitor this clearly,” he said.

Stating that that there may be 2 concerns among people, one of which is that the scheme may not continue after 1-3 months, Dr Rouhani added, "As people’s trustee and elected President, I assure people that there will be no money in this scheme except the amount that will be paid to people. I assure people that we will continue this trend until the end of this government’s term”.

“The other concern is that the increase in petrol price will affect other goods,” he said, adding, "Our economic experts have made different predications about the amount of inflation it may bring about. All bodies are required to monitor exactly not to allow anybody take advantage of this”.

The President added, "I assure people that all governmental bodies, especially the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, and Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, will work harder”.

He continued, "The last point is that we saw some people take to the streets and protest. It is natural that when the government implements a scheme, some people do not accept it. I believe that it is natural for some to be against it, and they have the right to voice their objection”.

“But what the government has done is based on the law. I would like to appreciate the Plan and Budget Organisation, Ministry of Petroleum, and Ministry of Interior for their cooperation, coordination, and efforts,” he continued.

President Rouhani said, "Protest is people’s right; but protest is different from anarchy. They can protest and use even use harsh tone, and we will hear it. But we must not let insecurity prevail our society”.

 He also went on to appreciate Ministry of Intelligence, the Police, IRGC, Basij and all armed and security forces for their efforts and working hard to identify those who were after damaging public properties”.

“I would also like to thank the great Iranian nation for not joining the conspirators,” he said, adding, "Nothing is more important than security. We need to keep our brotherhood and unity, and people will not let a few others from outside of the country to take advantage of these conditions”.

Dr Rouhani added, "I instruct the Plan and Budget Organisation to begin paying the aid from Monday evening. This means that from tomorrow night, the payment to 20 million people, which account for the 1/3 of the 60 million people”.

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