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Rouhani: Economy Needs Stability

Rouhani: Economy  Needs Stability Rouhani: Economy  Needs Stability

President Hassan Rouhani has said the country "needs stability and peace" if it is to encourage investment, hailing his administration’s efforts to address economic woes.

"We are now witnessing a relative stability in the stock market, and worries about inflation do not exist anymore. We have to involve cooperatives and private sector in the economy and the government has made some plans in this respect. The economy has exited recession but this is just the beginning and we have a long way ahead," Rouhani said in a meeting held Tuesday night in Tehran between cabinet members and lawmakers.

“Insurance coverage to remote and deprived regions of the country is not at the desired level yet but we are making every effort to realize our objectives in this regard,” he said. “The administration has planned to submit the 2015/16 Budget bill on time and hopefully we are going to fulfill this objective.”

Referring to his administration's plan of action to exit recession, he said, "Some lawmakers believe that there is no need for such a bill now that the economy has already exited recession, but I have to reiterate that there is a long way ahead and we need to achieve a stable economic growth rate of more than 6 percent." He expressed hope that by 2016, the economy will achieve its growth target.

 Growth and Détente

The president supported the recent growth report by the central bank, saying “Thanks to Almighty, we are able to talk about our economy more optimistically today. The 11th administration is composed of honest people. There is no problem in raising technical questions but official statistics should not be doubted.”      

The central bank has recently reported 4.6 percent gross domestic product growth for the first quarter (spring). Some critics argued that the economy which had been in recession for eight consecutive seasons is not able to jump out of recession abruptly.

“The official statistics released by the government should be noted by all,” he said. “Disagreements and differences are natural. All groups should be pleased that the country is moving towards growth. They should not act in a way that people think they are upset with the progress.”

Economic stagnation has been one of the major challenges facing the Rouhani administartion since it took office in August, 2013.

Except for the first two years following the Islamic Revolution, the inflation rate of 40 percent in summer 2013 was unprecedented, Rouhani said, adding, “it was necessary for the country to experience peace and economic stability in order to leave this situation behind.”

The president said his foreign policy team has lived up to its words and managed to reduce tensions with western states and expand ties with regional nations.

“My (recent) visit to New York has brought valuable achievements along. The heads of states with whom I met unanimously believed Iran has made good progress politically, socially and culturally,” he said about his visit to the United Nations General Assembly last month.

He said the economy started growing when tensions in foreign relations were reduced.

“This is when the society experienced peace and stability and the government proved it is capable of resolving foreign issues with the help of Leader’s guidelines and support from the public and parliament.”

  Government on Right Path

When economic stability prevails, investors and entrepreneurs flock in; that is why the negative investment growth of 2012-13 reversed and reached 5.7 percent in 2014, the president said. “It shows that the government is moving on the right path.”

“While many believed that it is toxic to reduce inflation and at the same time enforce anti-recession policies, the government managed to do both simultaneously, despite limitations in terms of adopting expansionary policies or increasing foreign currency revenues or resources. This is not an easy task.”

  Inflation

“Today, we can promise that the inflation rate will fall below 20 percent by the end of March 2015. We can firmly confirm that we have left behind recession and it is certain,” the president vowed.

The government decided to allocate part of the revenues generated out of subsidy cuts to resolve one of the major social issues, namely public health, he said, noting that many countries have addressed the issue of public health, some of which have failed but our government succeeded in implementing the healthcare plan.

“The achievement has not only reduced treatment costs but also has empowered hospitals to take care of all the patients’ needs and provide more comfort for them.

“Moreover, through certain incentives, we managed to convince physicians and specialists who were reluctant to stay overtime at state hospitals, to take care of patients throughout the day. We also took steps to improve patients’ welfare in remote regions of the country,” the president explained.

 Relations With Neighbors

Rouhani said in all his recent visits to other countries, officials unanimously believed that the ongoing positive and progressive movement in Iran owes to the government, parliament and public support.

“We achieved success over the past year and have been able to fulfill our promise to people regarding foreign relations. We have expanded friendly ties with the neighbors and reduced the tensions. Except for one or two countries, we enjoy amicable relations with our neighbors and this attitude is extended to all other countries and continents that are eager to develop ties with Iran.”

The president said his administration welcome criticism.  “Our behavior should bring peace to people. We warmly welcome criticism but we have to act in unity when it comes to national issues,” he said.

It is true that the economy has exited recession but we have a long way to economic boom and this is just the beginning, he underlined. “We will continue to enforce anti-inflation policies until a single-digit rate is achieved. We will also continue to adopt policies that help us reach a progressive and stable growth rate of over 8 percent which is desired by both the government and the people  in line with the principles of the ‘resistance economy’ as instructed by the Leader.”

Financialtribune.com