By Mahnaz Abdi

Privatization to materialize ‘Surge in Production’

April 11, 2020 - 17:14

TEHRAN- The current Iranian calendar year (began on March 20) is named the year of “Surge in Production” by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

It should be considered that the trend of strengthening domestic production has been started in Iran a couple of years ago, as the country is determined to nullify the U.S. sanction on its economy through boosting production to reach more and more self-reliance.

The Leader had named the previous year as the year of “Pick up in Production”, something that came true in all economic and industrial sectors through cooperation between the state-run bodies and private sector.

While Iranian ministries besides the private sector are outlining their programs for “Surge in Production”, materializing this year’s motto requires some stronger determination and also more cooperation.

One of the areas which can play a significant role in surging domestic production is privatization, something that has been under the spotlight in the country over the past decade, aiming at more productivity, investment making, job creation, promotion of trade balance, more competition in the domestic economy, and reducing financial and management burden on the government.

The law on the implementation of the general policies of Article 44 of Iran's Constitution on privatizing state-owned companies was declared in 2006 in a bid to downsize the government and promote the private sector’s role in the national economy.

Although since then, the privatization process has been facing several challenges in the country, and has fallen behind schedule, drawing attention to the fact that urgent action should be done in this due.

Last year, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand had announced that offering the shares of state-owned companies, which were planned to be privatized, would be sped up.

He had also said that the government should amend its policies and methods of setting the prices and transferring the shares in the process of privatization.

And on Friday, President Hassan Rouhani instructed Dejpasand that the process of divesting state shares should be expedited and the proper ground should be rapidly laid in the stock market to this end.

While downsizing the government has been on the agenda, now “Surge in Production”, which requires a strong presence of the private sector in all production areas, makes paying attention to privatization more vital.

The government should take the necessary measures as soon as possible to remove all hurdles in the way of privatization, the process should be amended, and the condition for offering shares should be improved.

In fact, as many economists believe, if the government wants a surge in production, privatization if done correctly is one of the main ways to reach it.

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