|INEQUALITY INDEX IN IRAN|
SUBSIDY PLANS IN IRAN-TOO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH? http://bit.ly/nwGKce One considerable transformation is that poor households in Iran are, for the most part, receiving a big income payment every month. This is not completely unprecedented. In fact, one of the points most Iran analysts forget to mention when they describe the new subsidy payments is that many poor families have already been getting cash payments for years. Much of the elderly poor, families without a male breadwinner, and families with disabled members have been getting both cash and in-kind aid from one of the biggest welfare organizations in Iran - the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee. Say what you want about this organization, but it has transformed a lot of communities in the country (a related organization is mentioned in the beloved Dariush Mehrjui movie, Mum’s Guest). So, for poor families already getting aid from the state, this simply adds onto the welfare system they already benefit from. But, of course, many middle-class Iranians benefit from the country’s welfare system as well, whether from public education, generous state pensions, or low health care costs. However, due to rising prices for almost everything else, it seems like everyone is losing their purchasing power in Iran, yet again. But if subsidy payments remain inflation-indexed, then this will contribute to a major redistribution of wealth in the country. According to Alef’s website, this is already happening. Looking beyond Iran, in addition to the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee’s long standing program of cash payments for a variety of so-called “disadvantaged” groups, the even larger and more universal payments from subsidy changes look very much like the newest fad in development theory: “Just Give Money to the Poor.” This is the title of a popular development book by Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos, and David Hulme.
[THE AUTHOR SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED THAT PARALLELL TO THE SUBSIDY PROGRAM,AND ITS REDUCTIONS THRU SUBSTITUTE CASH HANDOUTS,THE GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY SAVED 500 BILLION DOLLARS IN RECENT YEARS,AND ALSO THAT THIS INDEED HAS BEEN AND STILL IS USED FOR OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIES(ENERGY SECTOR) http://iranprogressndevelopmentlist.blogspot.com/ AND INFRASTRUCTURE,IN FACT JUST THIS YEAR ALONE THE BUDGET FOR SUCH PROJECTS HAS BEEN OVER 200 BILLION.ALSO TOUCHED UPON IN ARTICLE,WAS FACT THAT INDEED THE SUBSIDY PROGRAM ALSO WAS BENEFITTING THE MIDDLE CLASS AND UPPER MIDDLE CLASS IRANIANS,AND THAT WAS ANOTHER REASON FOR REMOVNG THEM(BECAUSE THIS GROUP OF WELL DOERS,(PART OF THE GREEN MOVEMENT) FAVORED NEOLIBERAL ECONOMIC POLICIES (UNDER KHATAMI,RASFAJANI,MOUSAVI) THAT HURT THE POOR.THE UPPER MIDDLE CLASSES WHO PROMOTE A PRE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION (PRO MONARCHY) AND WHO CHERISH THEIR SO CALLED PERSIAN GOLDEN AGE(PRE ISLAMIC IRAN- A CASTE BASED SYSTEM ALREADY IN DECAY BEFORE ISLAM ARRIVED) ARE SAME ONES WHO WERE CREATING HAVOC AGAINST THIS ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT THAT EMPHASIZED HELPING POOR!