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Essential Goods' Purchase Drops In Iran

Head of Iran's Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, visiting Tabriz Grand Bazar during his trip to Tabriz, East Azarbaijan province, on October 31, 2019.

The Research Center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Iran's parliamentary body, says the average consumption of essential goods in 2019 has decreased significantly compared with 2018.

Citing the study, the IRGC-linked news agency, Tasnim, reported on Friday that the consumption of veal dropped 20 percent between 2016 and 2019, with veal consumption falling 29 percent.

The consumption of other products has also decreased in Iran over the past three years, including an eight percent drop in foreign rice, six percent in vegetable oil, and four percent in sugar.

Based on the study, the decline in the consumption of essential goods for lower-income citizens has been much more significant.

Over the past year, many Iranian households' purchasing power has decreased, due to increased sanctions, declining oil revenues, exchange rate fluctuations and significant increases in the prices of raw materials and goods.

In a public session on November 11, Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly parliament approved a motion that compels the government to pay subsidies for essential goods in the form of coupons.

According to the motion, which would become law if passed by the Guardian Council, the government will be required to provide more subsidies to about sixty million citizens from the beginning of the second half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2020.

However, President Hassan Rouhani's administration has opposed the parliamentary proposal.

Responding to the motion, the spokesman for the government, Ali Rabiee, said, "Implementing a parliamentary proposal compiled without the executive departments' coordination will face difficulties," having previously asserted that the motion would be difficult to finance.

According to the latest monthly report of the Statistics Center of Iran, published earlier in November, Iran's point inflation, or the increase in the price of commodities in one given month of the year compared with the same period in the previous year, reached 41.4 percent in October 2020.