The Iranian parliament (Majlis) on 19 April approved the 2016-17 draft budget which starts on 20 March, raising spending under the general budget significantly, but slightly lowering the allocations for state-owned entities from the projections originally presented by President Hassan Rohani on 17 January (MEES, 22 January).

The increase in general budget spending will concern the cash-strapped government, already struggling to meet its fiscal obligations. Although the general budget is...