Mohammad Baqer Nobakht

Iran: Subsidy choices take center stage

Financial Tribune – Where oversight mechanisms cannot be enforced by the government, allocating subsidized currency will not help but hinder because “the end consumer ultimately buys (essential) goods at open market rates

Head of the Plan and Budget Organization says the government is weighing three options on allocating $14 billion for importing essential goods in the next fiscal that starts on March 21.

Mohammad Baqer Nowbakhat told state TV late Monday that there is a consensus among the government and Majlis Joint Commission over the matter. As for the first option, the government could continue the current procedure but under stricter supervision.

Within existing procedures, companies get subsidized currency for importing basic goods. Each subsidized USD=42,000 rials. Subsidized currency is cheaper than rates quoted in Nima (integrated forex deals system) where the greenback now is offered at 90,000 rials. Forex at Nima rates is fore importing non-essential goods.