EghtesadOnline: When a new government takes over, expectations are listed for the government to prioritize, but when the term ends, sadly most of those are not met.
What is to be done? According to Iranian entrepreneur and member of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s board of directors, Fatemeh Moqimi, the first step the government could take is to put together a long-term plan for the first four years and then it can list the more practical measures it can implement in the short term, say the first 100 days.
Below is a translation of an article she wrote for the Persian newspaper Taadol:
The government of president-elect, Ebrahim Raeisi, has to take a few urgent steps, under the current critical conditions of the country. The first priority must be people’s healthcare through large-scale vaccination against Covid-19.
People are living in hardship; they must be returned to a stable situation. The new government needs to take fundamental measures to restore the equilibrium in this regard; further delays would bring about numerous social consequences.
The next important step is to act on the economy and people’s livelihood. The new government needs to take measures to pull the economy out of the current state. The president-elect needs to take concrete actions to reduce economic pressure on people.
The third step must concern customs and commodities piled up in ports, and reforming the direction of foreign trade to free people out of this flawed mode. Commodities that have been stuck in customs due to complications such as order registration procedures and provision of foreign currency as well as goods whose customs clearance formalities have been finalized but are yet to be discharged should be taken care of.
The provision of foreign currency for groups I and II of commodities, i.e., raw materials, pharmaceuticals and essential goods like food and animal feed must be given priority. Figures show that tens of thousands of tons of essential goods have been held up in customs terminals due to foreign currency provision issues. As a result, around 1,500 trucks are idling along the border with Afghanistan.
Stability of foreign exchange rate and Iran’s compliance with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force — the global anti-money laundering watchdog are two other serious issues that the new president needs to put on agenda to slash the economic and trade losses.