Iran is boosting the monthly cash payments it gives to its citizens by more than fifty percent, the Iranian Labour News Agencyreported, as soaring inflation and the depreciating Rial continue to bite deep into the national economy.
The Iranian government implemented the first-stage of its Targeted Subsidies Plan towards the end of 2010 in an attempt wean the country off more generous food and fuel subsidies and so cut government spending. At the time, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called it the "biggest economic plan of the past 50 years".
After the additional payment, the vast majority of Iranians will receive 730,000 Rials (around 60 U.S. dollars) in direct monthly cash payments.
The increase will soon be deposited in recipients' accounts, the head of the organisation for targeted subsidies, Behrouz Moradi, was quoted as saying, but cannot be used until the second phase of the government's subsidies plans is launched.
The next stage is expected to be introduced in April with the goal of reducing payments from 90 percent to 80 percent of the population. It is unclear from the report if the additional amount will be paid on a monthly or fortnightly basis.
Critics of the plan have accused Ahmadinejad of embarking on a programme of wasteful public spending that has resulted in soaring inflation.
Food and fuel prices have spiralled since the reforms were introduced, causing deep financial problems for millions of people across the country. The price of gasoline has risen three-fold and the cost of gas has soared by 500 percent.
Last week Iran's most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave his full backing to the Targeted Subsidies Plan which he say was an important means of distributing subsidies in a more balanced way.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund commended the Iranian government for the policy which it said had led to a reduction in fuel consumption and inflationary pressure.
According to official figures, inflation has decreased to around 20 percent but critical MPs say the real figure is closer to 50 percent.
New sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies targeting Iran's financial and energy sectors have resulted in a dramatic devaluation of the Rial since the beginning of the year.
Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee grower, is set to continue talks with global buyers in hopes of branding and trademarking its world-renowned coffee and boosting national revenue.
Russia has banned the import of EU food products including fruit and vegetables from Poland, whose total food exports to Russia were worth around $1.5 bln last year.
Ukraine is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.
Finnish electricity specialist Hiekkala: 'Finland and Baltic countries have possibilities to replace the import from Russia by own capacity or Nordic import.'
The Bahraini-based Dar Group (Al-Shair and Partners) and its Egyptian subsidiary, Dar al-Handasah, were awarded the contract worth some $1.8 billion to draw up the master plan for Egypt's Suez Canal development project.
Citizens unable to pay their credit card bills can apply to Finance Ministry to have their debts expunged.
Greek Cypriot Farmers’ Union EKA general secretary Panicos Hambas said that the Russian sanctions on the Greek Cypriot export of citrus fruits could lead Turkish Cypriot farmers to export their own fruits to Russia via Turkey.
The closing off of a major export market threatens to hurt segments of the euro zone economy at a time when growth is pretty poor anyway.
Soaring Chinese demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia's rapid growth, with more than 90 percent of its exports sold to China.
Thailand avoided recession in the second quarter, the state planning agency said on Monday, but questions remain about the pace and depth of growth.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia. Ford, Volkswagen , Ford Renault, Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co all have production facilities inside Russia.
Across Asia's low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety
More than eight out of ten French citizens do not trust the government of Prime Minister Valls to improve economic situation, poll shows
Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years on July 31 after losing a lengthy legal battle with hedge funds demanding full payment on debt
The pipeline is expected to function on an interruptible basis from September and on a firm basis from March 2015.
Ethiopian gold exports rose to 12.35 tons during the reported period compared to 12.32 in the previous year.