News ID: 265958
Published: 0339 GMT February 21, 2020

Iran Parliament committee approves currency overhaul bill

Iran Parliament committee approves currency overhaul bill

The Iranian Parliament has approved the details of a government bill to drop four zeros from the national currency, the rial.

Press TV reported that the Parliament’s Economic Committee had gone through all the technical details of the bill which seeks to amend Article 1 of Iran’s Monetary and Banking Law to allow the government to overhaul the currency.

The bill had obtained the initial endorsement of the Iranian parliamentarians in October, but a final approval was tied to further deliberations in the Economic Committee of the assembly.

The Wednesday approval means that the government would effectively be able to start preparations for the redenomination of the rial, a process which is expected to take two years and cost more than $150 million.

Under the government plan, Iran will scrap the rial, a currency in use in the country for almost a century, to introduce the toman as the main unit of currency.

Each toman will be equal to 10,000 current rials and equal to 100 parsehs, the name chosen for the currency’s new small unit.

The bill also stipulates that the rial should remain legal tender for a maximum of two years of a transition period, after the toman is introduced as the official currency.

The main aim of the bill is to simplify transactions and allow the government to save more by ceasing the issue of billions of devalued notes and coins each year.

It is estimated that the new scheme would save the government around $12 million each year.

Experts believe that slashing four zeros off the rial would have a slight psychological impact on markets affected by its devaluation against major international currencies over the past years.


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