Iran's parliament finalizes budget bill
Business Week / Nasser Karimi

Iran's parliament has given final approval for a $368 billion budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year, bowing to the hardline president's full request despite concerns it includes measures that would stoke inflation.

The final approval Monday came after lawmakers last week had initially approved a $347 billion budget for the 12-month period from March 2010 to March 2011, slashing $20 billion of the $40 billion President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had requested as direct payments to the neediest Iranians to offset the impact of a phased fuel and food subsidy cut.

Several Iranian newspapers, including the economic daily Donyae Eqtesad which reported the budget's approval on Tuesday, did not explain how the government planned to come up with the additional $20 billion.

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