Economy, Domestic Economy

Cooperatives Net $1.75b Last Year

Cooperatives Net $1.75b Last YearCooperatives Net $1.75b Last Year

Cooperative businesses exported $1.75 billion worth of their products in the last Iranian year (March 2015-16), said the deputy labor minister.

Hamid Kalantari added that the figure is expected to see a 75% rise in the current Iranian year to reach $3 billion, IRNA reported.

“Currently, as many as 97,000 cooperatives with 11 million members are active in Iran,” he said.

One of the most important merits of cooperatives is that they provide an alternative to private and state enterprises in which resources are controlled by a minority. This is while cooperatives recognize the right to personal gain within a structure that supports each of its members.

The cost of creating a single job in the cooperative sector is one-third of that in other sectors, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, Alireza Nateqi.

Kalantari said the cooperative sector has created more than 1.5 million jobs across the country since the beginning of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16).

According to Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution amended in 2004, the economy of Iran falls into three sectors: state, cooperative and private. The article explicitly underlines the role and significance of the cooperative sector when it says that public sector operations should be limited and that the cooperative sector is complementary to the public and private sectors.

The cooperative sector’s share in the national economy was envisioned to be 25% in the Fifth Plan. However, in reality, the sector currently has only a 6% share in the national economy, according Kalantari, and the government has toned down its expectations as it reduced the sector’s envisioned share in the national economy to 15% in the sixth plan (2016-21).