Iran runs out of money for 2,700 infrastructure schemes

Work on some 2,700 infrastructure projects in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been halted as a result of funding shortfall caused by the collapse in the price of oil.  

Alireza Khosravi, a member of the Iranian Parliament Construction Commission, said: "In the current year, we had 3,000 incomplete projects, but we managed to allocate budget to only 300 of them.  

"The trend will continue in the next year, and we will not be able to fund all the incomplete projects. There are lots of incomplete projects, and current delays will only result in higher expenses." 

According to Mohsen Pour Sayed Aghaei, the managing director of Iranian Railways, Iran needs $24bn to complete rail projects it has planned for the next eight years.  

Iran’s Fars news agency reported that 8,100km of highways were planned over the next eight years, with 2,400km classed as high priority, to be completed in the next three years. 

Last month Iran unveiled a draft budget based on prices of about $70 a barrel. President Hassan Rouhani said the fall in the price from $100 to $70 in the past year was "unprecedented". He said in a speech to parliament that: "Our economy must move towards non-oil exports. The oil price drop is a new opportunity to accelerate this." 

Iran has the world’s fourth largest proven oil reserves and exports about 1.3 million barrels a day. 

Rouhani said oil revenues earmarked for the budget would be $24bn next year, meaning less than half the government’s income would come from exported crude.

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