TEHRAN, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The second phase of Iran's subsidy reform plan to wean the country off food, energy and fuel subsidies will begin in a few days, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
"We have called on people to register for receiving cash to compensate for the removal of subsidies. The law stipulates that those who do not need cash subsidies should give up voluntarily," Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tehran Times daily.
Once the registration process is terminated, the government will start implementing the second phase of the plan, he said.
Registration to identify families, who are eligible to receive cash subsidy, started on April 9 and will finish on Sunday.
The administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented the first stage of the plan until the end of 2010. In the first stage, the government paid 45,500 rials, about 14.3 U.S. dollars based on recent market exchange rate in Iran, to almost all citizens to compensate for a partial cut of subsidies.
By implementing the second stage of the plan, it is estimated that the government will get 480 trillion rials (about 15 billion U.S. dollars) in the current Iranian calendar year (March 2014- March 2015) in revenues.
Iranian lawmakers approved a bill in February according to which cash payments in the second phase will only be given to low- income families. The parliament gave the administration authority to decide the amount of cash subsidy payments that will be given to the target groups.
An advisor to Rouhani said earlier this month that the implementation of the second phase of the subsidy reform plan will not lead to a sharp rise in prices.
"Fuel prices are planned to be increased by 60 percent on the average and it will not lead to a hike in the inflation rate," Mohammad Kordbacheh was quoted as saying.