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.
China has also said it would like to continue to develop "friendly cooperation" with Ukraine and that it respects the ex-Soviet state's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Selling a fleet of subs would mark the first time since at least the end of World War Two that Japan had sold a complete weapons platform overseas.
The head of Iran's atomic agency says the agreement will be signed next month
A little more than a month ahead of general elections, new figures shows the Brazilian economy contracted by 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014
Russia cut off the gas flow in mid-June after the two sides failed to agree on pricing and debts owed for previous gas supplies.
Malaysia Airlines will be de-listed from the Kuala Lumpur exchange by the end of 2014
Venezuela's Petroleum minister, Rafael Ramirez, said earlier this year that PDVSA could import crude as a "last resort" to find diluents for its heavy crudes
Air France, the French network of Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it has suspended its flights to Sierra Leone following advice from the French government
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said that Kiev knew of plans by Russia to halt gas flows this winter to Europe
The inquiry into tycoon Bernard Tapie has embroiled several of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet members including Lagarde.
The riot broke out in the southern industrial hub of Johor state on Tuesday at a factory run by JCY International , a Malaysian firm that makes parts for electronic giants including Samsung, Hitachi and Western Digital.
Hawaii and U.S. territories have strong dependency on petroleum imports, because of their physical isolation and lack of fossil fuel resources, while their residential electricity prices have been three to five times the average residential prices of the mainland U.S.
Buyers of Kurdish crude could face lawsuits from Baghdad if the oil moves close to U.S. soil and would also require the seller to provide costly indemnities against potential lawsuits
Deep job losses, route cuts and a change of leadership are expected to feature in a restructuring plan being prepared by Malaysia's government
New company will create the third largest global fast-food chain with annual sales of US$23 billion.
Once the international language of royal courts and diplomacy, French has lost ground to English in recent decades