TEHRAN – The unemployment rate in Iran has reached a critical level, Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said.
He criticized the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for paying huge amounts of loans to small businesses, saying that the former administration’s hasty decision has led to 800 trillion rials (about $32 bilion) in bad loans, the Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
He referred to unemployment as the main challenge facing the administration, adding that the problem will be resolved just through boosting economy and raising investments.
The Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the average unemployment rate for the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, hit 10.4 percent.
Iran must create 8.5 million new jobs in the next two years, Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia said in November.
In August, Iranian Deputy Labor Minister Mohammad-Hossein Forouzan-Mehr said plans were underway to reduce the unemployment rate in Iran to seven percent by 2015.
The unemployment rate will fall by one percent each year during 2013-2015, he added.
In January, Iran’s Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif announced that bad loans of the Iranian banking system amount to 800 trillion rials (about $32 billion).
Special committees will be formed in bank branches in order to collect the debts, the Mehr News Agency quoted Seif as saying.
The administration is resolved and committed to follow up the case and return the sum to the banking system, he stressed.