DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday presented an optimistic state budget that targets 8% economic growth and crude oil sales increase of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) despite maintaining US sanctions.
World powers and Iran have been stuck in talks this week over reviving their 2015 nuclear deal and lifting US sanctions, with Britain and Germany warning that time may be running out.
Iran’s top budget official said the budget plan for the next Iranian year that begins March 21 has been drawn up on the assumption that US sanctions will continue.
“Growth plans include 4.5% investment growth and 3.5% productivity growth,” Raisi told parliament, presenting the draft budget based on 1.2 million barrels per day of exports. of oil projected at a price of $ 60 a barrel, according to state media.
In November, Iranian oil imports by its main customer, China, were estimated at over 500,000 b / d and Iran’s estimate of total exports reached 900,000 b / d.
State media put the value of the nominally balanced budget at 15,052 trillion rials, which is equivalent to $ 50.2 billion at the free market exchange rate of Iranian currency.
The new budget is about 10% larger than the current budget in terms of local currency, although its value in real terms is lower due to annual inflation above 40%.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the budget allocates around $ 5 billion to bolster Iran’s defense program.
The Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report in June that Iran’s economic recovery is likely to be modest if it revives the 2015 nuclear deal without expanding the scope of the pact.
The United States reimposed the sanctions, crippling the Iranian economy by cutting sales of crude, the Islamic Republic’s main source of income, after Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from the nuclear pact.
The draft budget must be adopted by parliament and approved by a clerical body which reviews legislation before it becomes law.
($ 1 = 300,000 rials at the free market rate)
(Report by Dubai Newsroom Edited by Gareth Jones, Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean)
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