EghtesadOnline: As the new government is scrambling to form its Cabinet, President of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Masoud Khansari, has outlined the private sector’s expectations from the incoming administration of President Hassan Rouhani.
TCCIM is a subsidiary of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, which is locally known as the “private sector parliament”, i.e. a community of the representatives of the Iranian private sector.
Rouhani secured 57% of the vote in the presidential poll on May 19, winning a second term as president. He has yet to introduce his new Cabinet to the parliament.
“We expect Mr. President to seek the opinions of chambers’ experts prior to introducing members of his Cabinet, especially those involved in the economy,” Khansari was quoted as saying by the TCCIM news portal.
According to Financial Tribune, Iranian chambers’ high potential in advancing the country’s economy should be realized by the government, he added, noting that if the hurdles facing the private sector are cleared, both the economy and the private sector can witness significant changes.
He suggested that the chamber of commerce is capable of taking over the completion of national or provincial development projects that have been suspended due to shortage of financial resources.
Khansari believes the private sector’s involvement can lead to economic prosperity by curbing the government’s involvement.
“The government’s involvement in economic matters is way too deep, which is considered as one of the main disruptive forces in the economy,” he said.
Khansari said the private sector expects the president to ask ministers to present plans, within their jurisdiction, to downsize their respective ministries by delegating part of their tasks to the private sector.
He also expressed the chamber of commerce’s readiness to take on the responsibility of Iran’s international economic negotiations.
On the subject of economic growth, he highlighted the role of investment and said, “To emerge from recession and reach the 8% economic growth (as stipulated in the sixth five-year development plan), ministers involved in the economy and the head of the Central Bank of Iran should be obligated to provide the private sector at least $100 billion to guarantee its activities.”
Five-year development plans represent budgetary and macroeconomic targets devised by the government and passed by the parliament. The sixth plan pertains to the five years ending 2022.
The TCCIM chief also expressed interest in cooperating with the government over promoting economic transparency and combating smuggling.
He said the private sector is all set to assist the government in the full implementation of e-government.
On a different note regarding the government’s recent plan to split up three ministries, Khansari urged authorities not to make hasty decisions and analyze this plan carefully by consulting experts. The government is thinking of splitting three ministries into several divisions.
According to Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development is to be split into ministries of “Roads and Transportation” and “Housing and Urban Development”; the Ministry of Sports and Youth is to be divided into the “Ministry of Sports” and “National Organization of Youth”; and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade is to split into the “Ministry of Industries and Mining” and “Ministry of Commerce.”
“If any split is to happen, we believe it must be well-thought and based on expert opinions. What was the philosophy behind the merger in the first place and now the breakup?” he asked.