Meaningful Action on Income Inequality Needed

Meaningful Action on Income  Inequality  Needed Meaningful Action on Income  Inequality  Needed

Leader of Islamic Revolution instructed all state bodies to cooperate with the government in its campaign against income inequality, an issue that came into the spotlight after recent revelations about inflated payments to some senior economic officials.

"All institutions are bound to act against the unusually high payments and resolutely strive to eliminate any such irregularities," Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said in a short note on Saturday, carried by IRNA.

The pay of top managers at banks and some state-owned companies were publicized in recent weeks sparking public outrage, especially on social media.

Ayatollah Khamenei's note came in response to a letter by Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, who referred to the controversial executive salaries as an issue of national security and requested the Leader to use his authority and bind the establishment to help the government's campaign.

The payments were first exposed by news agencies close to the political opponents of President Hassan Rouhani. Some senior managers received compensation as high as dozens of times the average monthly income of average employees. The source of the leaks has not been identified.

Following the revelations, Rouhani tasked Jahangiri to lead the investigation into the issue.

Ayatollah Khamenei called for serious action by the government during a Ramadan meeting with the president and government officials on June 22.

  Infringement of Values

"The issue of astronomical salaries is an infringement of values. However, all  (the people) should know that this issue is the exception and most organizations' directors are principled people."

"But even this small number is still very inappropriate and must be dealt with," the Leader said.

On Rouhani's order, the chief executives of four public banks, namely Mehr Iran, Mellat, Refah and Saderat, who have been implicated in the salary scandal, were relieved of their posts by Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia on Friday.

Also chairman of the National Development Fund, Safdar Hosseini, and members of its board of trustees handed their resignations on Saturday.