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MP Says Seventy Percent Of National Budget Passes Without A Vote

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hands in his budget draft to the Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani.

A member of Iranian parliament says that the legislature votes only for thirty percent of the national budget and it has no chance to vote for the rest.

Deputy Chairman of Iranian parliament’s Social Commission, Mohammad Reza Badamchi tweeted his complaint after the parliament passed President Hassan Rouhani’s new budget and sent it for review to the Guardian Council.

He writes in his tweet, “Public opinion should know that only one-third of the country’s budget is discussed in parliament; which is mainly the part about government’s income and [operational] expenses.” The other seventy percent involves the income and expenditures of state owned enterprises, for profit companies and banks.”

Badamchi does not mention anything about military expenditures, outlays for ideological organizations or who decides about the seventy percent of the budget.

Badamchi, who is a reformist politician, says parliament should have a say about the whole budget and points out that when huge institutions operate outside its purview, they operate without transparency.

When Rouhani presented his budget in December, he also admitted that a huge chunk of it falls outside the government’s decision making authority. The government does not have a say in the budget of military and security organs and appropriation for dozens of religious-ideological foundations.

The only thing that Rouhani was able to do was to be a bit more transparent in presenting the details of the budget, which immediately ignited a hot debate among the people, especially on social media. This might have played a role in leading to the wide-spread protests later in December.

In one of his speeches Rouhani brought up the example of what he said was “a long list of seventeen” organizations that constantly demanded their money from the government and if “it is a day late, they protest”. The president complained that when the government asked them where they spent the money, their answer was “it is none of your business”.