VP: Iran developing $3.5B rural industrialization plan (exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, August 25
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Iran is planning to make a $3.5 billion investment in the rural areas as part of a master plan that aims at creating jobs and decentralizing industries, the country’s Vice President for Rural Affairs Abolfazl Razavi said.
The money will come in the form of low-interest loans (6 to 8 percent) from the National Development Fund and some banks, Razavi told Trend August 25.
"We intend to invest in rural areas in order to turn them into hubs of production and employment," he said.
"Over 99 percent of mines in Iran are situated in rural areas. Also, over 93 percent of the country’s wheat is produced in rural areas. The same goes with a lot of basic products. This is while most processing factories are located in and around cities…. So one of the aims of this plan is to move industries to rural areas," he explained.
The vice president noted that there are around 2,600 counties in Iran, and that the plan envisions one industrial hub for each.
Interest rate of loans in Iran currently hovers around 20 percent, whereas inflation is a little above 10 percent.
Iran has been becoming increasingly attentive to the economic wellbeing of rural people for various reasons, ranging from concern over unbridle migration to urban areas, to security concerns.
Last year Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the allocation of $500 billion to the development of rural areas of Sistan-Baluchestan Province to improve upon its underdeveloped state.