70% of Iran’s Municipalities Bankrupt

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Iranian Interior Minister Abdulreza Rahmani Fazli spoke today about the financial condition of Iran’s municipalities.

In regard to “problems from the ninth and tenth governments [President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s two terms] with payments in Tehran municipality, especially in public transportation,” Rahmani Fazli said that “Because revenues did not cover the costs, 70% of the country’s municipalities are bankrupt.”

Fazli added, “With consideration for the fact that prices have increased and revenues have remained consistent, from the perspective of the public budget, we cannot be of much help to the municipalities. And in consideration of the weakening of the economic condition, increase in prices, poor management at large and low productivity, the municipalities have encountered financial problems.”

According to Fazli, the Interior Ministry’s plan will be to work with parliament and the municipalities to create “stable revenues.” He added that “Whatever budget the law determines for the municipalities, the Interior Ministry will defend it.”

Mehr News Report Shows Worrying Numbers for Unemployment

According to a Mehr poll, 43% of Tehran’s residents have someone in their family who is unemployed.

The report stated that official figures by the Ahmadinejad administration indicated that unemployment was 10% and that 3 million people were looking for work. However, unofficial reports put unemployment at above 20%, meaning that 5 million people were looking for work. According to President Hassan Rouhani’s economic minister, Iran “will soon face 8 million people who are looking for work.”

According to labor specialist Hamid Haj Ismaili in an interview with Mehr, “The financial mess of the country has caused the employment measures taken by the government to not be objective.”

In regard to jobs or business transactions that are done off the record, Ismaili said that “Some of the employed in the country are also occupied with jobs that are not really able to be monitored.” He added, “Unfortunately, the labor market in Iran is not really studied. An individual might be working at places and earns income, but not every type of work, according to the standards of employment, is counted.”

Ismaili added that there are people in unofficial jobs who “have high earnings but are not counted as being employed.” He believes many people are disinclined to give accurate employment information and “Therefore, [in] any type of survey or research, a section of unemployment remains hidden.”

Still, Ismaili conceded, “Unfortunately, unemployment for the youth is still very high” and “Employers do not trust them very much.” He added, “Unemployment for graduates is high and the rate of unemployment for women is high, and in this section, there is a complete stagnation for the female labor market.”