TEHRAN, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to bring essential economic change to the country, Press TV reported on Wednesday.
In an address to a crowd in Sari, a northern city in the province of Mazandaran, Ahmadinejad responded to the recent criticism by some local economists saying that "The government will overcome the difficulties by collecting taxes. It will also allow us to fill the gap (between different social classes)," the report said.
Reportedly, some Iranian economic elites recently criticized President Ahmadinejad for not taking proper measures to deal with the country's economic decline.
Ahmadinejad recently introduced a highly controversial value added tax (VAT) program which was called by him as the economic reform plan.
Under the VAT plan, Iranian businesses with higher annual income need to pay 3 percent of their sales receipts to the government.
According to Press TV, the introduction of the VAT program was met with October strikes in Iran's bazaar, the backbone of Iran's traditional financial system.
Following the strikes, the report adds, Iranian president postponed the implementation of VAT for two months.
According to Iran's Central Bank figures of September, Iran's economy suffers from the rising inflation of 29.4 percent.
With the help of direct taxation, Ahmadinejad hopes to control the rising inflation.
There is a concern over sinking oil price among Iranian officials and economists that within months Iran will face a considerable budget deficit.
Oil price sank to the lowest levels since early 2007 on Wednesday and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December plunged to 54.35 dollars per barrel.