Lack of proper management to prolong Iran’s economic problems

Lack of proper management to prolong Iran’s economic problems

Tehran, Iran, November 8

By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has tacitly cautioned the government about the nation's lack of qualified management being one of the major causes of the nation's economic problems.

Iran has come through those difficult days under sanctions, but lifting sanctions was not the only big hurdle, as a lack of good management is the main concern and is expected to prolong the country's economic afflictions for years to come, he said, Fars news agency reported November 8.

As one example, executive bodies owe great sums to the private sector, which is not related to sanctions, he said.

The Iranian Privatization Organization has transferred $150 billion of government assets in the past ten years.

According to the head of the organization, Mir Ali Ashraf Abdullahpour Hosseini, on July 3, close to $10 billion of that sum went to creditors.

Further, some $26.2 billion went to pay for other government debts, while $680 million was used to pay workers.

The Central Bank of Iran, in its July report, announced that the government's debt to the Iranian banking system grew by 37 percent to reach 1,040 trillion rials, with over $35.3 billion of each dollar being equal to 29,437 rials on the day of the announcement, for the previous Iranian fiscal year, which ended March 20.

Of that, 1,004 trillion rials belonged to the government and 35.54 trillion rials to government companies and institutes.

The management system should take care of the private sector and privatization should be on the agenda, because the Iranian economy cannot rely on oil revenues forever, the Parliament speaker noted.

As far as next year's budget is concerned, the government has already tried to reduce its dependence on oil export revenues by increasing planned proceeds from taxation and privatization.

Proceeds from privatization peaked in the year ending on March 20, 2013, totaling $18 billion. But in the current Iranian year, beginning March 21, privatization proceeds have so far amounted to $1.4 billion, which is both a reflection of government policy, as well as investor disinterest.

"Our number one priority should be to keep our current production units alive, and then think about attracting domestic or foreign investment," Larijani stated.

For the next Iranian year, the administration has projected some $38 billion in proceeds from privatization, both in transfer of shares, as well as sale of financial assets, which can only be achieved if some lucrative state companies are privatized.

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