Economy, Domestic Economy

Corruption Undermining Competition

Corruption Undermining CompetitionCorruption Undermining Competition

President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian on Monday denounced administrative and financial corruption as a destructive element hampering business competiveness in the country.

Addressing a conference in Tehran on promotion of healthy administrative strategies, the official said that no one should have the right to hold monopoly over business information which must be accessible to everyone wishing to conduct business activities, IRNA reported

“No organization should have access to information that is denied to the public. Information and tax rents must be reduced in favor of economic transparency,” he said.

Administrative corruption is believed to have been rising in Iran as a result of lack of transparency as numerous rent-seeking institutions have been provided with the opportunity to access resources that are usually denied to the public. As a result of such monopolistic grip on information, rent-seekers have been able to run lucrative businesses which often go unchecked by the government.  

On March 3, 2014, President Hassan Rouhani said “the disclosed corruption cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” referring to the high-profile $3 billion banking embezzlement that took place under the nose of the previous administration. He called on privately-owned media outlets to step in and uncover corruption cases. “Media outlets are the most important and powerful instruments to fight corruption,” he said.

Nahavandian further said that the government’s foreign exchange revenues were sold at free market foreign exchange rate by previous administration officials who argued that they were trying to save the Iranian currency. He denounced the move as an illegal effort to make large profits, explaining that the market exchange rate was much higher than the official rate at the time.

Nahavandian also said that sustainable economic growth can only be created through healthy competition and that corruption will grow in the absence of economic transparency.

He said that transparency is the only way to improve the country’s economic situation. “Economic activists must be ensured that they are all treated equally and that they all have access to the same information authorities do.”

 “The newly-ratified Rights Charter that clarifies the civil rights regarding access to information was a big step forward, which leads to social and political justice as well as economic justice,” he underlined.