Iran's petchem products being smuggled into Iraq, Turkey - official
Baku, Azerbaijan, August 19
The secretary of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC) said domestic demand for petrochemical products in Iran has tripled compared to last year, stressing this shows that this sector is under the influence of rent-seeking activities.
“The demand for petrochemical activities has seen a 300 percent increase in comparison to last year, which is a clear sign of rent-seeking activity,” Ahmad Mahdavi Abhari said, IRIB news agency reported on August 19.
He added that unknown people are purchasing petrochemical products from the stocks and smuggling them out of the country to Iraq and Turkey.
“200,000 tons of petrochemical products were traded at stock exchanges, showing a significant rise compared to the same period last year,” Mahdavi Abhari said.
The Central Bank of Iran’s new package of measures to control prices at foreign exchange market was supposed to fight corruption and rent-seeking but it failed to do so, he further said.
On August 7, Iran unveiled a much-awaited package of policies to help strengthen its national currency – the rial – which has lost nearly half of its value against the US dollar since the start of the year.
The package, which was unveiled by the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati during a live televised interview, most importantly comprised mechanisms to control the US dollar rates through a recently launched “secondary currency market.”
Accordingly, the CBI would no longer be involved in determining the dollar exchange rates – what critics argued had only resulted in producing “unrealistic rates” for the greenback.
Instead, the exchange rate would be pegged to the actual trading figures as obtained from transactions between suppliers and buyers in the secondary foreign currency market, Hemmati said as quoted by IRNA news agency.