The Iranian government has provided about $620 million worth of low-interest bank facilities to developmental projects in the country's Lorestan province as part of a pilot project under the national "resistance economy".
Resistance economy is an umbrella plan introduced by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The major policy emphasizes the use of domestic capabilities to create minimum reliance on foreign sources.
The facilities are given under a recent agreement between the Lorestan Governorate and the Rural Development Department of the presidential office, Lorestan’s Deputy Governor-General for Development Coordination Mohammad Aslani told Trend January 6.
"The normal interest rate that Iranian banks charge is 18 percent. However, for rural development projects in the province, including individual projects and joint ventures, 10 percent is paid by governmental organizations and the client would have to pay only 8 percent," Aslani explained.
"Through such efforts, the Lorestan province has turned into a heaven for investment. People have realized that the government recognizes them as the real propelling power for domestic production," Aslani said.
He added the facilities are given to rural investors who would like to develop businesses in agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, handicrafts, etc.
The official further said that in order to discourage rural population from migrating to towns, the government has provided them with much infrastructural services in the recent years.
"Over the past three years, the natural gas distribution network has been extended to 700 villages in the province and the plan is to surpass 1,000 villages in about one year," he said.
"Similar services have been offered regarding the distribution of power and water. These will not only increase the chance of rural population survival, but will also help save natural resources such as the huge number of oak trees, the area’s most common type of wood, which people used to cut for firewood," Aslani said.