Iran excludes large oil and gas firms from privatisation list
Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.11
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has excluded some large oil and gas companies from the list of privatisation-bound state-run companies, the Mehr News agency reported on March 11.
The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, the National Iranian Gas Exports Company, the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Holding Company, the Iranian Oil Pipelines and Telecommunications Company and Iran's Fuel Conservation Organisation are among the most important companies which have been delisted.
Previously, Zanganeh ordered the stoppage of transferring shares of eight domestic refineries.
On November 3, 2013, the Mehr News Agency reported that Iran's Oil Ministry had the highest share of privatisation among eight Iranian ministries over the past eight years with a 46.6 percent share of total privatisations.
According to the Iranian Privatisation Organisation, the Education Ministry had the lowest amount of denationalisation with just 0.01 percent of total privatisations.
According to the report, 1,493,542 billion rials, about $600 billion based on the US official exchange rate of 24,900 rials of state shares have been transferred since 2005, of which 694,259 billion rials ($278 billion) has been related to the oil Ministry.
The Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade ranked second with 339,940 billion rials ($136 billion) worth of shares transferred.
The Ministry of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Transport ranked third to seventh.
The Iranian government envisioned a large denationalisation programme in the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), aiming to privatise about 20 percent of state-owned firms each year.
In line with Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution, hundreds of state-owned companies have been privatised with some of the shares being earmarked for distribution among 'deprived' classes such as farmers and workers.
In a speech in March 2013, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that transferring economic activities to the public will resolve the unemployment problem.
"Implementing Article 44 of the Constitution regarding privatisation is meant to transfer the economy to the public," Larijani stated.
Edited by S.M.