Monday, February 4, 2008

Budget for "Religious Activities" Expands by 600 Percent

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who promised to bring oil revenues to people's tables in his 2005 ‎presidential campaign, has arranged to bring oil revenues to mosques' tables by authorizing a 600 ‎percent increase in the "budget for religious activities" in next year's fiscal package. ‎
Last year, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance had a budget equivalent to 20.111 ‎billion rials for religious activities. The Ahmadinejad Administration has proposed increasing ‎this amount to 150.62 billion rials for the upcoming year, increasing the previous year's budget ‎by exactly 639 percent. ‎
The increase comes despite the fact that mosques have leftover funds from previous years in ‎which they failed to introduce enough programming to spend all of their allocated funds. ‎
The administration has also asked for a 307 percent increase in the budget for "cultural activities ‎in mosques," increasing it from 40.167 billion rials to 170 billion rials for the upcoming fiscal ‎year. ‎
In another section of the budget, the administration increased funds for "supporting and directing ‎cultural and religious activities," driving up the number from 90 billion rials last year to 320.825 ‎billion rials for the upcoming year, an increase of 264 percent.

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