Lawmakers Say Iran Parliament Leaders Secretly Changed Budget Bill To Benefit A Few
More than 100 Iranian lawmakers wrote a letter to Majles Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf that "figures in the budget bill have been altered several days after the bill's final approval at the Iranian Parliament in late March."
The lawmakers revealed in their letter that a handful of other lawmakers have changed the figures with the approval of the Budget Committee chief. Earlier, a leading MP said that the changes were made in coordination with Ghalibaf.
The members of the parliament called on the Speaker to offer an explanation about the changes that have apparently granted concessions to well-connected individuals and organizations by withdrawing funds allocated to some and shifting them to purposes amd regime insiders.
The lawmakers reminded Ghalibaf that the Majles in its initial statement had pledged to be transparent and warned that lack of transparency can give way to injustice and financial corruption.
"However, what has been done, took the Majles several steps back in terms of transparency compared to the parliament's track record in the past," the letter warned.
The MPs added that a review of tables in the budget bill has revealed that "extensive changes" have been made in the figures determined by the government and approved by the parliament. They said that when the parliament was debating the budget bill some lawmakers had pointed out that some tables were missing, but the session's chairman ignored their complaint.
They said the changes must have happened when the bill was being reviewed for an amendment. However, the letter stressed that several changes were made to the bill during the month following its final approval at the Majles. Changes were also made in the clauses that had been altered based on the advice of the Guardian Council, to make the bill consistent with the rules of Islam and the articles of Constitutional Law.
However, those local media outlets that are informed an=bout the content of the letter say nothing about what exactly has been altered in the approved budget of the country.
The MPs reminded Qalibaf that any change to be made in any approved bill should be first ratified by the Majles. They said it was regrettable that the parliament's right has been violated by those who altered a law that had already been passed.
"This is an unprecedented development throughout the history of the Majles and sets a record in terms of evading laws, and creating concessions for a few by changing the figures in the budget bill," the lawmakers further stressed.
According to the proreform website Fararu, the matter was first revealed in a tweet by Tehran MP and senior lawmaker Ali Khezrian.
Khezrian wrote in a 20 April tweet: "Unfortunately, a review of the tables in the budget bill shows extensive alterations in the figures of the budget during the 25 days after the bill was ratified."
He wrote in another tweet that the changes were made in coordination with Majles Speaker Qalibaf. Malek Shariati, the spokesman for the Majles Energy Committee Malek Shariati, denied Khezrian's claim. But the letter by more than 100 MPs has lent the accusations against Qalibaf a new dimension.