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Iran's president presents budget to parliament

world Updated: Feb 21, 2011 00:46 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has presented parliament with the proposed budget for the next 12 months.

Ahmadinejad says the $540 billion budget is aimed at curbing inflation, poverty and unemployment as well as improving farming and related industries.

Those are all key grievances in Iran. Official statistics put Iran's inflation and unemployment rates at 10% each. Critics say the number is double that.

The budget presented Sunday is about $200 billion more than the current year. The increase is seen as an effect of a sharp cut in energy and food subsidies as well as the increase in oil prices.

More than 80% of Iran's foreign revenue comes from crude exports.

The new budget begins in March. Parliament is to discuss it early next month.