Iranian MP: Government's economic statistics contradict reality
Head of the Iranian Parliamentary Research Center Ahmad Tavakkoli believes President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime pressures the Iranian Statistics Agency and Central Bank to hide statistics, the Iranian alef.ir website reported.
In his open letter to MPs, Tavakkoli said the Central Bank last published data on the country's GDP was in the second half of 2008. Neither the Iranian Statistics Agency nor the Central Bank has published statistics on the unemployment rate since spring 2010.
Ahmadinejad said 1.6 million new jobs opened last year and the figure will be 2.5 million in corrent year. The Iranian new year begins on March 21.
Roughly 1 million young people reach able-bodied age a year and according to official statistics, $20,000-$60,000 is required on average to open one workplace in the country.
Given the country's economic state, Tavakkoli said, opening of 1.6 million new jobs is unrealistic.
He said the unemployment rate and GDP data contradict each other. Non-publication of the country's GDP data for about three years shows that no growth is reached. Thus, opening of 1.6 million new jobs is suspicious.
During Mohammad Khatami's presidency, in 1997-2005 the country achieved a 5-percent economic growth and opened 600,000 new jobs unnually.
Relying on the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) data, Tavakkoli said Iran's economic growth hit 0.1 percent in 2009, 1 percent in 2010 and the figure will equal to zero in 2011.
He said Iran is an IMF member and is obliged to provide statistics on economic growth to the Fund.
The Iranian Statistics Agency reported that unemployment rate hit 14.6 percent in spring 2010. However, in late March Iranian Labor and Social Affairs Minister Abdol Reza Sheikh-Ol-Eslami said quoting Ahmadinejad that unemployment rate hit 10 percent.
Based on the data by the President Deputy Strategic Planning and Control Organization, the country reached 6.63 percent economic growth on average a year up to 2004-2007 and opened 764,633 new jobs annually.
Iran includes those working even an hour a week into the list of employed people. Based on the International standards, employed person should have minimum 48 work hours a week.