Trade official says Iran's banks, imports creating unemployment
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 23/ Trend M. Moezzi
Contradictory lending policies, uncontrolled imports and sometimes Iran's labour law, are three of the causes behind Iran's high unemployment rate, says the Ahwaz Chamber of Commerce's deputy chief.
Instead of helping manufacturers who might be unable to pay the interest on their loans, banks only think of their own interests and by increasing such rates and penalties they push already struggling producers out of business and that in turn, adds to Iran's unemployment rate Faramarz Ahmadinejad told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).
According to the latest published official statistics, unemployment was 13 per cent in 2011 in Iran. There is no statistic about the current year. However, according to the International Monetary Fund, unemployment rate in Iran is expected to rise above 16 per cent in 2012.
Mr. Ahmadinejad asked that banks quit their contradictory policies and instead provide manufacturers with the liquidity they need to operate.
The Ahwaz Chamber of Commerce's deputy head added that Iran's labour law sometimes prevents management from exercising its authority and lowers production efficiency.
The trade official asked that greater efforts be made to introduce domestically produced goods to Iranians.
"Domestic production, support for Iranian investments and jobs," is this year's national slogan in Iran with the hope that by focusing the public on buying domestically produced goods, the country can get past the international sanctions levied against it.
Iran's economy is increasingly stressed by U.S.-led sanctions against Iran's oil industry and its central bank. The rial, Iran's currency, has lost half its value against the dollar, diminishing Iranians' purchasing power even as the inflation rate continues to climb.
The West's measures are part of an effort to make Iran answer questions about its nuclear programme which it says is peaceful and civilian in nature while the U.S. and its allies contend it is not.