Hemmati asks politicians to go “on leave”

June 2, 2021 - 21:53

TEHRAN — In an interview on Wednesday, presidential contender Abdolnasser Hemmati said that Iran needs an economist president right now, asking politicians to go on a “4-year leave”.

“At present, Iran's economic condition and living conditions are not in a situation to sacrifice the people. We must change the situation,” he said. 

Hemmati said the main reason for his presidential candidacy, considering his expertise and past work, is that he thinks he can bring the country to the right track.

“We have had a structural flaw in economic governance over the past few decades that has led to unfavorable trends in macroeconomic variables. One of these trends is investment. Until investment in the country is not developed, other macro variables, including production and economic growth, will be in trouble,” he opined. 

Hemmati, who holds a PhD in economics from the University of Tehran, pointed out that another issue is productivity. 

“The other issue is productivity. In the long-term plan envisaged for the country, a significant part of eight percent economic growth was supposed to be from productivity, but unfortunately, not only did it not grow, but it was negative, and this caused economic growth to be hampered,” he stated. 

The presidential candidate said that the economic growth is an important issue and should be looked at from different angles. 

“The most important issue of production is that the government should not pressure the private sector,” he said.

Hemmati said it is the duty of the government to invest in infrastructure and let the private sector to do the investment and encourage it. 

He said, “It is necessary for the private sector to have confidence in the economic and social conditions of the country. We should not have uncertainty in the economy.”

Hemmati stated that he believes that Iran must focus on economic growth and control inflation at the same time. Because if there is inflation, he said, there will be no growth because inflation intensifies an abuse of the market.

“The most important issue to control inflation is liquidity and part of the liquidity goes back to the relationship between the government and the central bank,” he explained.

Hemmati believes that banks have to connect people, who have financial problems and cannot purchase goods, to producers who cannot sell their goods.

“The only way is to give credit cards and these cards are only for purchasing and you cannot cash them. The infrastructure is provided and now one bank is doing it on a trial basis,” the presidential candidate said. 

The presidential elections will be held on June 18.


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