People, Environment

Lawmaker Calls for Making DOE a Ministry

Lawmaker Calls for Making DOE a MinistryLawmaker Calls for Making DOE a Ministry

A member of the parliamentary environment group has renewed calls for elevating the Department of Environment to a ministry to give environment officials more political clout.

Speaking to ISNA, Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh, deputy head of the group, said the department must become a ministry to make better use of its executive power and budget.

“The government is of the same opinion and preparing a bill to submit to the parliament,” he said.

This seems to be at odds with the government’s public stance. Last year, lawmakers were highly critical of both the government and DOE chief, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and tried to pass a bill to turn the department into a ministry, but their efforts failed.

Ebtekar and her deputies have long argued that the move will do more harm than good by granting lawmakers full control over the department’s affairs, allowing them to put a spoke in the DOE’s wheel.

The sentiment is echoed by activists who say giving the parliament power over the department will lead to politics, rather than reason, allowing it to dictate terms to the DOE.

The DOE receives less funding compared to ministries and although the head of the department does not have the same political clout as a minister, President Hassan Rouhani addressed that problem by appointing Ebtekar as the head of DOE.


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