Minister: Only a maximum 17 per cent of state shares transferred to private sector

Iran Materials 5 November 2013 15:02 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.5/ Trend F.Karimov/

Iranian economy minister Ali Tayyebnia has said that only a maximum 17 per cent of privatisations in the past have been real and the rest of the shares have not been really transferred to the private sector, the Mehr News Agency reported.

The national economy is in a crucial situation, so that in recent years economic growth has been low and inflation rate has been high in the country, he added.

More than 800,000 jobs should be created annually he said, adding that attaining goals such as a high economic growth rate and sustainable employment requires supporting the private sector and improving the business environment, the minister said.

On September 10, Tayyebnia criticised the implementation of privatisation policies by the former administrations saying that just 10-15 per cent of state shares have been handed over.

Therefore, the privatisation process has not improved the efficiency of the private sector to any degree, he added.

Many economic experts have expressed concern about transferring shares of state-run companies to semi-government entities which are neither governmental nor privately-owned.

During the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, security and military organisations, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the semi-state companies affiliated with them have gained a big share of privatised assets.

The IRGC has grabbed a large portion of Iran's economy, especially in the oil and gas industries and its former commanders occupy numerous government posts. As a result, most trade and oil contracts signed by Iran necessarily involve the IRGC.