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Economist Examines Media Campaign Over Executive Pay
Economy, Domestic Economy

Economist Examines Media Campaign Over Executive Pay

To economist Saeed Laylaz, the rising media frenzy around monthly paycheck of an insurance executive and the reactions it drew say as much about the government as about the motives of its opponents.
Laylaz examines three aspects of this media Campaign  in an opinion piece published in Iran newspaper. Excerpts of the article follow:
Justice must be served and public concerns must be addressed, no question about that. But it is vital to consider the fact that most of these revelations are falsehoods or defamations targeting the government.
The order by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri [on reorganization of executive pay in the government during the current fiscal year] is a proof of the sincerity of officials in their fight against possible infringements.
The incumbent administration is honest and above board and we need to pay attention to three points in this regard.
First, the government’s reaction to the scandal is an important confirmation of its respect for democracy and economic transparency. This must be materialized in all sectors, even those that are not under the supervision of the government.
They should release the details of their executives’ payments and respect the government’s democratic approach in this regard.
In addition, transparency must become a common approach for all administrations. Corruption was rife in the former administration, yet it received little publicity.
There are numerous foundations, military establishments, municipalities, economic entities and cultural organizations with no systematic supervision over their payments. The Supreme Audit Court of Iran should be concerned about such organizations as well.
The government should not cave in to the negative publicity of media critics–those hell-bent on defaming the administration prior to the next year’s election. These attacks should not discourage the government from the logical pursuit of its economic goals.
The aftermaths of falling into the populist trap would be either the rise in corruption or the disheartening of efficient government executives.  
We need to seek out a comprehensive solution that is economic liberalization—the lessening of government regulations and restrictions in an economy in exchange for greater participation by private entities. In fact, issues such as exponential salaries would not have resurfaced, if we had delegated the management to the private sector in the first place.
Recently, the monthly paycheck of an insurance executive was leaked in the social media. The unnamed executive with the Central Insurance of Iran was paid 870 million rials (more than $25,000) that month, nearly 60 times the average pay in Iran. The leak led Mohammad Ebrahim Amin, CII’s chief executive, to resign.
Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia ordered an investigation, which found much of the paycheck had been back pay. He called these payments “relics of the former administration”.
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has also ordered the Supreme Audit Court of Iran to investigate salaries in government organizations and companies.

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