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Iran approves major price hikes for four basic food items

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Iranian government has approved major price hikes of four basic food items.

The Iranian government has approved major price hikes for four essential food items as part of a plan to liberalize prices by removing subsidies given to importers and suppliers and redirecting them to the households.

A Thursday announcement by Iran’s Headquarters for Market Regulation raised the prices of dairy products, chicken, egg and cooking oil.

According to the announcement, the price of a 1-liter bottle of low-fat milk rose by more than 50% to 180,000 rials ($0.6) while chicken and egg prices per kilogram nearly doubled to 598,000 rials and 398,000 rials, respectively.

Cooking oil price rose nearly four-fold to 630,000 rials ($2.06) for a bottle of 810 grams.

The price hikes came two days after the government deposited around 400 trillion rials ($1.5 billion) worth of cash subsidies to accounts held by more than 23.6 million households in Iran.

The payments have been made under a plan to stop subsidizing essential food items and to combat trafficking and corruption in supply chains.  

Government authorities have defended the plan as necessary in light of problems in the global supply of food and grain that has been caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

A Thursday report by the official IRNA news agency described the situation in the essential food market as calm and said the government will closely monitor the situation to prevent any irregularities in the supply and pricing of food products.

Iranian agriculture ministry said tens of thousands of inspectors had been dispatched to shops and supply centers across Iran to help implement the price hike plan.

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