Iran plans to issue electronic coupons for emergency first foods

Posted on August 13, 2012

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Iran might be implementing the electronic discount cards for emergency first products,Member of Iranian parliament’s economic commission Arslanan Fathipour said, Iran’s “Dunyaye Eqtesad” newspaper reported.

Fathipour said that given the today’s economic situation in the country, and the imposed international sanctions, the coupons must be brought back in the shape of electronic coupons.

This would be the second time Iran is using such strategy to support its economy.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1981 the country was experiencing great deficit of some foods and services. They were either in deficit or too expensive.

At that time the it was ordered to implement the special discount coupons for 10 emergency first products and services, to reduce the overall prices. After the economy stablized, Iran canceled the discount coupons.

Today, Iran is facing extreme international pressure because of its nuclear program, and the imposed sanctions damage the economy of the country, which heavily depends on oil exports.

Iran has recently started to implement the “economy of resistance” to tackle the impact of economic crisis.

Special group has been established from the members of Iran’s Iranian parliament, presidential administration and the juridical system – a total of 9 people.

Arsalan Fathipour said the economic commission created a 9-article plan, which will be forwarded to the parliament for approval next week. If approved, Iran will start implementing the electronic discount cards soon.

The first stage of the subsidy reform plan, which is mainly focused on cutting fuel subsidies, started in December 2010.

The government has described the subsidy plan as the “biggest surgery” to the nation’s economy in half a century and “one of the most important undertakings in Iran’s recent economic history”.

The goal of the subsidy reform plan is to replace subsidies on food and energy (80% of total) with targeted social assistance, in accordance with Five Year Economic Development Plan and move towards free market prices in a 5-year period.

The subsidy reform plan is the most important part of a broader Iranian economic reform plan.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini said in May that the second phase of the Targeted Subsidy Reform Plan would be implemented in due course and that the Government had not decided on any specific time thus far.

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Posted in: iran economy