Wednesday Jul 30, 201405:02 AM GMT
Iran's poverty line touches USD 860
Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:6PM
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Experts say Tehran's poverty line has reached USD 860.
The poverty line for Iran's metropolitan areas has increased by almost 10 percent reaching 8,500,000 rials (USD 860), experts say.


"With a possible 35-percent inflation rate next year, a family of five would be in absolute poverty with a [monthly] income of under 8,500,000 rials," university professor and poverty mapping expert Hossein Raghfar told Farsnews on Wednesday.

Raghfar made the announcement in the final days of 1387 -- the current Iranian calendar year, which will end on March 21.

"This time last year, we predicted that that the poverty line for Tehran would be around 7,800,000 rials for a family of five in 1387, and we saw that the Central Bank released the same figure for the country's major cities later on in the year," he added.

This is while officials at Iran's Ministry of Welfare and Social Security have not yet announced the official poverty threshold.

Former Minister of Welfare Mohammad Sharif-Zadegan also said that the figure had risen. However, he added that the increase was not so high as to cause panic.

"Our data shows that the poverty line has increased, but not that high to cause concern when announced. Therefore, we must not be afraid of announcing it," Sharif-Zadegan explained.

"University studies show that low income groups have spent less while high income groups have spent more. These studies show that the poor have become poorer while the higher income families have spent more," he added.

Another figure, also announced on Wednesday, was the minimum wage for Iranian workers, which was set at a monthly rate of 2,745,500 rials (USD 279).

MJ/MMN
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