Economy

 

The Rial is the official currency of Iran; however prices are sometimes quoted in Toman. One Toman is equal to ten Rials. As a general guide, written prices are given in Rials and prices quoted in conversation are in Tomans. Central banks in provincial capitals are able to cash Travelers’ check for tourist use. ATMs exist in most cities, and there are pointof- sale devices in some larger stores, but only local bank cards are accepted, having a cash reserve (either rials or foreign currency) is recommended.

 

Central banks in most cities will change money for you and the private exchange offices (sarāfi) scattered around most large cities and major tourist centers. The most widely-accepted currency is the US dollar ($), but euro (€) and UK Sterling Pound (£) are also widely used. Other currencies are harder to change. The maximum working week is 44 hours, with no more than eight hours any single day unless overtime compensation is provided.

 

Friday is the weekly day of rest. Workers are entitled to public holidays and a paid annual one month leave. The employment of workers less than 15 years of age is prohibited. Young workers between 15 and 18 years of age must undergo a medical examination by the Social Security Organization prior to commencing employment. Demographically Iran is a young nation. Nearly 30 Percent of its 73 million populations is under 15 years old. That’s why Iran is called one of the youngest nations in the world. With an annual 6.5 % growth, Iran enjoys one of the liveliest and most vibrant economies in the region. According to the latest reports published by International Institutions, Iran’s Gross Domestic Product in 2009 exceeds $840 billion which ranks the country as the 17th Economy in the world.GDP per Capita at Purchase Power Parity (PPP) in 2009 stands at $ 12 /800. 230 The Economy of Iran is dominated by oil and gas exports which constituted 50% to 70% of government revenues. Due to huge share of oil revenue in economy and vast amount of subsidies, President Mahmud Ahmadi Nejad has proposed replacing energy subsidies with targeted Social assistance. This new Scheme which is called economic surgery by prominent economists will enhance the efficiency of the economy. According to Article 44 of the constitution, the economy of Iran is to consist of three sectors of state, cooperative and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound Planning. An amendment of the Article 44 in 2004 has allowed 80% of state assets to be privatized. In order to reduce the poverty, 40% of these assets is contributed to millions of Iranian families through the “Justice Shares” and the remaining 40% will be released to private sector through Tehran Stock Exchange.The other 20% will remain under government’s control.

 

In 2005, the government’s assets were estimated at about 420 billion, which about $63 billion of that was privatized during the last 5 years, bringing the government’s share in the gross domestic Product (GDP) from 80% to 40%.

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