Expert: Implementing coupon system in Iran causes ambiguities
Tehran, Iran, Aug.17
At a recent meeting on economy issues, Iran first vice president Eshaq Jahangiri stated that he opposes introducing a coupon system.
"Currently, our country is not ready for introducing coupons, and we do not have centers to provide commodity by coupon. Some suggest to set up electronic coupon system, but the coupon distribution system needs a vast network to cover remote villages," he said.
" We should be sensitive towards decisions that involve low income class. If this group is negatively affected, it would cause harm to private sector and entrepreneurs," the first VP added.
Mahmoud Jamsaz, economic analyst, discussed the issue in his interview to Trend
"The coupon system for basic goods has been implemented in the country several times in the past. It did not bring positive results, but caused fraud and corruption instead," he noted.
"As for the electronic coupon plan that was mentioned by the first VP, it is not implementable, as it will cause corruption and create second market. The coupon system would lead to ambiguities, while it is not determined whether or not it will cover the whole population," he said.
"The fate of fuel card has not been determined yet, but there will be problems in expanding the system. The fuel card aims to monitor gasoline consumption, but there are simpler ways to do that. I think there is no difference between the existence and absence of the fuel cards," he added referring to Iran policy to revive fuel card.
"Unfortunately, each official makes his own plans, which creates confusion. It was the same, when new national identification cards were issued; there are still people who have not received their cards, while banks and financial institutes do not accept old ID cards," he said.
In his view, the economic system should be transparent for the people, while any plan from coupon to fuel card and electronic ID card has brought heavy costs to them. He went on to say: "There should be common economic policies in the government, but, unfortunately, the decisions are not coherent. Most of the plans and suggestions are for short-term and a proper long-term strategy is not developed."