Saturday, October 02, 2004

Iran: Expediency Council announces end to state monopoly of economy

Iran: Expediency Council announces end to state monopoly of economy: "Iran: Expediency Council announces end to state monopoly of economy
Tehran, Oct 2, IRNA -- The Expediency Council, the top policy making body, on Saturday passed another part of a general plan to rescind articles 43 and 44 of the Constitution which advocate state monopoly of the economy.
As per the decision made today, all major industries, manufacturing and service sectors will be ceded to the private sector in a bid to 'prevent the governing system from being a big employer'.

"In order to bring about economic development and prevent further losses to the national economy, the government is authorized to cede large industries and those mentioned in articles 43 and 44 of the Constitution to the cooperatives and private sectors except for downstream oil and gas industries," the Expediency Council said.

Foreign trade, banking, insurance, power generation for domestic consumption and export, telecom and postal service, railway, airlines, and shipping have been singled out by the Expediency Council as the areas that the body prefers not to remain under state monopoly.

The Expediency Council also called on Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel to forward the fourth five-year economic development plan (2005-2010) to the government for executive planning.

The latest decision would be considered as a breakthrough for carrying out the fourth five-year development plan and a guideline from the Expediency Council urging the parliament not to resist the privatization drive envisaged in the five-year plan.

The Guardian Council also will no longer voice objection to the fourth five-year development plan's privatization drive finding it in contradiction with the Articles 43 and 44.

The sixth parliament passed the fourth five-year development plan in the run-up to the end of its term and did not make changes the Guardian Council had called for.

The Expediency Council ratified the five-year plan after the sixth Majlis forwarded it for arbitration in the dispute with the Guardian Council."

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