Week in Brief 19.01.2018

How often should we blacken our header following a national disaster, I don’t know; but on the first anniversary of Plasco Building Fire, Sanchi, an Iranian oil tanker exploded thousands of kilometers away from the capital: none of its crew members survived… It was one of the week’s main topics and definitely the saddest one.

The new Mayor of Tehran, Mohammadali Najafi presented a 500-page-report on the debt and financial violations of the former Municipality administration over the last 12 years. Numerous newspapers have presented reports on various parts of this reports. The report estimates the debt of the municipality to be 520 thousand billion IRRs ($14.2 billion), of which 40% have not been recorded. The budget of the municipality is currently a third of these debts; and a large portion of the debts are due to the previous mayor, Mohammadbagher Ghalibaf’s presidential election campaign costs. Mr. Najafi pointed out that there is no estimate on the value and registration of the exclusive property of the Tehran Municipality and states that they have been assigned to different organizations within the municipality without regulation. Moreover, for each 100 job positions, 426 people have been employed bringing the total number of municipality personnel to more than 68 thousand people.

While most media outlets are focusing on the elimination of the 2 trillion IRR budget of cultural-religious organization in the upcoming year, Shahrvand quotes Hamidreza Baradaran Shoraka, economist, as saying: This issue is not a priority among the county’s economic problems and the excessive focus on it will distract from the main issues. He believes the publicity of the budget bill and the parliament proceedings as problematic.