Iran raises 2012 budget size to $453 billion
TEHRAN IRAN on Sunday announced an upward revision of its annual budget, as a rise in oil prices appeared to mitigate the impact of international sanctions on its economy.
The Islamic republic’s Guardians Council approved the budget for Iran’s calendar and fiscal year to March 2013 at 5,560,000 billion rials ($453 billion at the official rate), the official IRNA news agency reported.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented his government’s annual budget to parliament in February, asking for 5,100,000 billion rials ($410 billion).
The budget bill revised by lawmakers was endorsed by the Guardians Council on Sunday, without an explanation for the reassessment.
Iran, the oil cartel OPEC’s second-biggest producer, has benefited from historically high oil prices which rose steadily in the first quarter of 2012 due to the European Union announcement of its plans to embargo Iranian crude.
The budget, however, remains lower than that of the 2011-12 fiscal year, which was set at $484 billion.
The official exchange rate is set at 12,660 rials against the dollar, up from 11,000 the previous year.
The rate remains well below the free market where the rial fluctuates between 16,000 and 18,000 to the greenback.