By Ebrahim Fallahi

IPO hosting intl. event on privatization in Iranian economy

May 21, 2022 - 14:42

TEHRAN – Iran Privatization Organization (IPO) is hosting the first International Event on Privatization in Iran’s Economy from May 21 to 24, at the country’s International Conference Center, IRIB reported.

Heads of the three government branches, heads of the country’s chambers of commerce, related ministers, members of parliament, as well as experts and scholars from the United States, Brazil, Poland, and other countries will deliver speeches and present papers in this event.

As reported, the main purpose of this conference is to identify the challenges in the way of privatization and to prepare a comprehensive privatization document that could ultimately improve the quality of government commercial assets.

In this three-day conference, the process of privatization over the past 20 years is going to be reviewed.

Oil, electricity, petrochemicals, banking and insurance, agriculture, industry, mining, roads, and urban planning and services are some of the areas whose relative ministers and representatives will share their experiences and explain the measures taken for privatization during this event.

An integrated privatization system is also going to be unveiled during this international event.

Need for change in privatization process

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event on Saturday, Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ehsan Khandouzi stressed the need for major changes in the privatization process, saying: “Following the previous ways for privatization will bring us back to the same point that we are standing today, and if we want to progress, we will have to change the path ahead.”

“Many government-owned companies need to be reformed to increase the overall growth and competitiveness in the country’s economy, and this will be a turning point in the country's economic policy path,” Khandouzi stressed.

A review of 20 years of working on privatization shows that despite the fact that most of the goals set in this regard are not fulfilled, in some cases, of course, we have had some successes, the official said.

According to the minister, based on the national budget bill, the shares of 187 companies as well as the ownership to 300 government assets should be transferred to the private sector in the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21).

“[In the process of privatization] there is a distinction between offering the shares of a company, transferring its ownership or changing the management and moving towards increasing productivity, and we try to put productivity first,” the official stated.

8 rounds of privatization need to be reformed

Further in the first day of the international event, IPO Head Hossein Qorbanzadeh delivered a speech, saying that all the companies that have been privatized over the past 20 years have not been able to succeed and improve.

“Eight rounds of privatization that have already been carried out in the country must be reformed,” he regretted.

“We need a proper pathology and a comprehensive look at the past to examine the positive and negative impacts of the privatization over the last two decades and to decide what should be done from now on,” he said.

One of the most important aspects of the policies introduced in Principle 44 of the Iranian Constitution is the subject of privatization, which is referred to the transferring of the management and ownership of the shares of government enterprises to the private sector.

Despite the stress on accelerating the implementation of the privatization process, it has become one of the most challenging topics over the past two decades. So, finding the main cause and factors contributing to this shortcoming, and overcoming the challenges facing the implementation of the aforementioned policies has become a major priority of the IPO as it is essential for the improvement and advancement of the country’s economic system.

EF/MA

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