The disputes surrounding regime president Ebrahim Raisi’s first budget bill to the Majlis (parliament) for the forthcoming Persian year are still circulating on social media and in the regime’s state-owned news sources three days later.
The regime’s major concern is to ensure its survive
The bill’s reaction demonstrates how badly the government is managing the economy. Even the regime’s own specialists are warning that the measure will push the country further down the road to economic ruin and, as a result, civil unrest.
The budget bill makes it plain that the regime’s major concern is to ensure its survival, from the large expenditures allocated to security forces and the state-run media apparatus to the indifference for the basic needs of teachers, workers, government employees, and other segments of society.
The budget is also rife with uncertainties
The budget is also rife with uncertainties, making it simple for regime officials to pocket funds that should be used to operate the country. Two-thirds of the budget has been set aside for so-called “government-run” businesses, whose revenues and losses are not included in the bill.
“These companies, whose budget exceeds the general budget by 20,000 trillion rials… have had their own agenda in the past decades and will continue to do so,” Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf admitted. Whatever legislation we adopt here, these corporations will do as they please.”
The government’s budget deficit is 3,000 trillion rials
It’s also worth mentioning that the regime rarely follows its own regulations and frequently deviates from the budget bill’s articles. Mehrdad Bazrpash, the head of the Supreme Audit Court, disclosed in October that the previous administration ignored 49 percent of the budget bill’s rulings. The budget bill was passed into law last year following months of heated debate, but it was later canceled by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and returned to the Majlis for another round of revisions until it fit the regime’s unelected leader’s wishes.
According to the regime’s own experts, the government’s budget deficit is 3,000 trillion rials. However, the bill has obscured this truth by fraudulently manipulating accounting records to make it appear as if there is no deficit in the budget. Instead, the administration has told ministries and government organizations to cover their deficits through their own “initiatives,” which is a euphemism for more looting of their staff and the general public.
The budget bill is merely a sham in the regime
The abolition of the 42,000-rial-to-USD exchange rate is another major concern in the budget. Experts predict that the change will cause costs to skyrocket. There are no measures in the bill to address these implications.
Oil sales are also concerning. 2 million barrels of oil and condensate are transferred across the country every day, but their revenue is not included in the budget bill. The law, ironically, includes revenue from the sale of dried bread in military garrisons but excludes revenue from oil sales.
These and other factors demonstrate that the budget bill is merely a sham in the regime. In actuality, the mullahs are doing everything they can to drain up every last ounce of the country’s wealth in order to maintain their tyrannical rule.