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Iranian president outlines four-point remedy to revive economy


13:43, January 17, 2013

TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday outlined four points as a remedy for reviving the country's economy.

Talking to the lawmakers in the Majlis (parliament), the president blamed the Western sanction pressures on the country and said his proposals for a change in the country's economy is open to be discussed between the government and the parliament.

As the first point, Ahmadinejad said the wealth of the country should be distributed among all Iranians in different parts of the country, criticizing the accumulation of 25 percent of the country 's wealth in the capital Tehran.

He stressed that investments should be directed to the deprived and poor areas of the country.

Secondly, he pointed out that the economy of the country should be popularized in the sense that plans should be developed to provide all the people with the opportunities to be engaged in " constructive" economic activities.

Utmost use of domestic resources and land will also stabilize the economic growth and will reduce the vulnerability in the economic sectors, he maintained.

The last point is to reduce the budget's dependence on oil revenues, the president said, noting that reliance on oil revenues is a weak point of Iran's economy and the enemy has used this drawback to pressure the country by imposing sanctions.

Iran's energy and financial sectors are under successive Western sanction pressures over the country's disputed nuclear program, while its economy heavily relies on oil exports, which account for 80 percent of its foreign currency revenues.

The Iranian currency has depreciated sharply with the reduction of Iran's oil sales in international markets from 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of 2011 to 860,0000 bpd in September 2012, according to a recent report of the International Energy Agency.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad also described the first phase of his subsidy reform plan as successful and urged the parliament to help the government implement the second phase of the plan before his second term in office ends.

The Iranian parliament announced earlier that the implementation of the second round of subsidy cuts should be postponed until the end of Ahmdinejad's presidential term in mid 2013.

Iranian experts and lawmakers criticized the government for the mismanagement of economy, saying that the government's plan for the implementation of the subsidy reform plan has not turned out to be successful, resulting in a rampant increase of inflation in the Iranian society.

The inflation has soared beyond the Iranian people's tolerance, as the economy relies on imports for major food items and industrial equipment.

The Central Bank of Iran announced that the inflation rate was 27.4 percent in Iran's Azar month (from Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, 2012), according to semi-official ISNA news agency's report on Jan. 9.

In December 2010, Ahmadinejad announced the launch of his economic reform plan aimed at cutting government subsidies on key consumer goods, including gasoline, natural gas, electricity and some food items. He said all subsidies would gradually be removed during a five-year period.

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