Iran to maintain controversially low forex price for next fiscal year

The official IRNA news agency said a parliamentary committee discussing articles of a draft budget law for the next calendar year starting March 20 had agreed in a Thursday meeting that government would be able to import basic goods at a US dollar price of 42,000 rials.

The decision comes days after the Iranian parliament approved the outlines of the budget bill presented for a second time to the chamber by the government.

A majority of lawmakers in the parliament had been opposed to the price on the grounds that it would trigger rent-seeking activities in the economy.

The government, however, argued that the price, which is much lower than a current market price of 260,000 rials for the US dollar, should be maintained to prevent a sudden hike in the prices of basic goods.