11 May 2007 - 18:54
  • News Code: 104312

TEHRAN – A double-urgency bill for amending Clause V of Note 13 of the current year’s Budget Act has not been recognized as contravening religious principles or the constitution by the Guardian Council.

The bill, which was ratified by the Iranian parliament on May 6, 2007, includes a single article that removes a Budget Act clause which stipulated that gas oil would be sold at 450 rials per liter as of May 22.

Abbasali Kadkhodaei, spokesman of the Guardian Council, told reporters that if the bill had been presented as a plan by Majlis deputies, it would have been contradictory to Article 75 of the constitution.

However, since it was offered as a bill, it is assumed that the government has thought of ways to lessen its financial consequences,” he said.

The government planned to bring the bill on gas oil price before Majlis, a Management and Planning Organization (MPO) official said Sunday.

Mehdi Rahmati, who is charge of MPO’s infrastructure affairs and delivered speech in the open session of Majlis, called on the lawmakers to give the cabinet an opportunity to offer its bill after holding specialized meetings and conducting expert-level studies.

“The government has yet to study the negative and positive impacts of a change in gas oil price,” said the official, adding the cabinet was convinced that any unscientific decision would cause problems.

According to him, the government plans to present a package of proposals to the specialized commissions and put them to the vote in an open parliamentary session.

Rahmati’s remarks came hours after 103 representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly voted for the government’s bill, agreeing that gas oil price would not increase.

The state bill received the nod from the majority of lawmakers and the commodity would be supplied at the same previous 165 rials (1.7 cents) per liter by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2008).

The MPs agreed to delete the phrase “450 rials (4.8 cents) per liter of gas oil as of May 22” and not ration the energy carrier.

The parliamentarians also voted against other proposals on the supply of gas oil at one of the 250, 300, 350, and 400 rial (2.7, 3.2, 3.7, and 4.3 cents) rates.

Submitting the bill to the Majlis, the cabinet justified that the gas oil hike would increase the inflation rate and transportation costs and reduce the people’s affordability.


News Code 104312

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