Economy, Business And Markets

Call for Competitiveness Improvement

Call for Competitiveness Improvement
Call for Competitiveness Improvement

A lawmaker on Monday called on the government to place “real privatization” on top of agenda as the first step official need to take to improve competitiveness in the market.

“The government has to demonstrate its determination by privatizing state-owned companies, a measure that would urge competition among companies,” Gholamali Jafarzadeh, a member of the Budget and Planning Committee in the parliament said, as reported by IRIB.

He advised the government to offer stocks of state-owned companies in the capital market and improve its supervisory activity.

He also stated that foreign investors’ requirements should be identified and met as foreign investment, if attracted, helps improve production, employment and economic growth.

Since he has taken office, President Hassan Rouhani has geared up efforts to curb inflation and improve the public purchasing power. In the second year, he has announced plans to end recession and boost growth.

Mohammad Nahavandian, president’s chief of staff, announced earlier that the government is planning to improve competitiveness and clear its debts to the banking system, in an attempt to provide support for domestic and foreign investors.

In the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21 – September 23), Iran Privatization Organization ceded 31,811 billion rials worth of public shares, of which 75 billion rials was sold at the Tehran Stock Exchange, 25,443 billion rial at Iran Fara Bourse (over-the-counter), 1 billion through negotiations and 4,292 billion rials via tenders.

 Budget Share for Deprived Areas

The budget and planning committee of the parliament on Sunday reviewed an urgent bill to modify Article 180 of the 5th Five-Year Economic Development Plan which calls for the increase in allocation from public budget to deprived regions to 3 percent from the original 2 percent.

 “The committee members approved the proposed 3 percent allocation for deprived areas in public budget although the original proposed figure was 4 percent but that was rejected by the government, which had failed to observe an overall balance in budget allocation in the past few years violating Article 48 of the Constitution,” Mousa Servati told IRNA.

Article 48 of Constitution stipulates that “there must be no discrimination among the provinces with regard to the exploitation of natural resources, utilization of public revenues, and distribution of economic activities among them, thereby ensuring that every region has access to the necessary capital and facilities in accordance with its needs and capacity for growth.

In line with the enforcement of the said provision, Article 180 of the 5th Five-Year Economic Development Plan states that provinces that are economically deprived must have their budgets increased by 2 percent each year. Last year, the budget plan presented by President Rouhani did not reflect this provision and caused a stir among the lawmakers from Khuzestan and Lorestan provinces.