Iran’s Ministry of Economy denied reports that the popular monthly cash subsidies paid to more than 80 percent of the population to cope with the removal of government subsidies would be slashed by 40 percent to $27 a month starting with the second month of the coming Iranian new year of 1390 (the new year starts on 21 March). At present monthly cash payouts are at $44 per month per person.
The controversy started yesterday when the ministry itself announced that its budget for cash subsidies for the eleven months of the new calendar year is at $19.3 billion. Considering that 65 million people will be eligible to receive cash subsidies next year, the monthly cash payout per person per month comes to $27, and not $44! Unless the government is planning to end these payments in seven months, in which case it would need only $19.3 billion. So the apparently contradictory announcements are perhaps meant to convey the message that these payments will end sooner than expected.