Economy, Domestic Economy

High Tariffs Entice Smuggling

High Tariffs Entice SmugglingHigh Tariffs Entice Smuggling

High tariff rates as well as bans imposed on the import of certain commodities are the root cause of smuggling in the country, Mojtaba Khosrowtaj, deputy minister of industry, mine and trade, said on Wednesday.

The Government of Iran has on several occasions vowed to intensify its campaign against smuggling.

 The government recently announced the seizure of some 12 trillion rials (over $342 million at market exchange rate) worth of contraband imported goods during the first nine month of the current year, saying the figure indicates a 24 percent rise compared to the same period last year.

“Over the period, 215 cases of the contraband goods worth 5 billion rials, 1,569 cases worth above one billion rials, and 64,000 cases worth less than one billion rials were seized,” Habibollah Haghoghi, the head of Goods and Foreign Exchange Anti-Smuggling Headquarters, said on Sunday.

Experts, however, believe that coercive measures alone are not sufficient to stop smuggling. Instead, they argue that the government has to employ various methods to control smuggling and at the same time support domestic production in order to create employment.

 “Unemployment has been a major factor leading to the rise of smuggling among the people living on border areas,” Khosrowtaj was quoted by ISNA as saying.