President Appoints Caretaker to Economy Ministry
EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani appointed former treasurer, Rahmatollah Akrami, as the caretaker of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance following the impeachment of Masoud Karbasian on August 25.
Karbasian failed to gain the parliament’s vote of confidence by 137 votes to 121, with two abstentions in the 290-member chamber on Saturday, ISNA reported.
He was the second minister in President Rouhani’s Cabinet to be impeached this month. His minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare, Ali Rabiei, was expelled on August 8.
The main reasons cited for removing Karbasian included his failure to tackle the mounting economic problems, enforce efficient tax laws, introduce policies to curb price gouging, check the galloping inflation, implement the “Resistance Economy” policy that calls for measures to make the economy more self-reliant, support domestic production, promote transparency and fight rampant corruption, Financial Tribune reported.
Amid growing public concern and frustration over economic hardships—fueled by a sharp depreciation of the national currency that led to sporadic street protests in Tehran and other cities—the government appointed a new central bank governor late July.
In a speech ahead of the Saturday vote, the minister apologized to the people for his shortcomings but noted that he alone is not responsible for the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions.
“The roots of the economic upheaval must be explored both in the past and present, and not all the [contributing factors] were under the control of the ministry,” he said, adding that the United States’ hostile policy is partly responsible for the plethora of problems.
He was referring to US President Donald Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear agreement in May and the reimposition of economic sanctions.
On Tuesday, President Rouhani was summoned by lawmakers to appear in parliament. Defending his Cabinet’s performance, Rouhani said the economic troubles only began when Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran, but many lawmakers were not satisfied with the answer, according to the result of a voting held at the end of the session.