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Rafsanjani Criticizes Iran’s ‘Imaginary’ Economic Data

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Iran’s former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies and his government’s “imaginary” economic indicators, the Donya-e-Eqtesad newspaper reported.

An energy and food subsidies reform plan that started in 2010 failed to boost local production and growth, he said. Instead, it led to an “insignificant amount of cash distributed to the population in exchange for alarming inflation,” Rafsanjani said, according to the daily.

“People are feeling the multiplication of prices and the drop of the national currency’s value with their flesh and skin,” Rafsanjani said. “Yet some are still content with their imaginary statistics.”

Several officials and local economists have criticized the government’s withholding of economic statistics, while the head of parliament’s research center in 2011 said reports on the unemployment rate were deceitful.

Iran is holding a presidential election on June 14 and Ahmadinejad isn’t eligible to run.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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