2017 Iranian candidates offer economic plans in last debate

TEHRAN, May. 12 (MNA) – The contestants trying their chances of victory in Iran’s upcoming presidential elections held their third and last debate on economic plans to precede the May 19 polls.

The debate gathered Hassan Rouhani, 1st VP Es’hagh Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, member of Iran’s Expediency Council Mostafa Mirsalim, Seyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the northeastern city of Mashhad and former VP Mostafa Hashemitaba.

The candidates earlier offered their social, cultural and political plans during the first and second debates.

The first candidate to open discussion in the last debate was the 1st VP Es’hagh Jahangiri who was asked to elaborate on his plans to counter the illegal importing of the foreign made goods, to manage or control the imports and to improve the economy. The 1st VP said that to have a resistant economy the domestic production should be improved and to help Iranian producers necessitates stopping those who enjoy from rants and smuggling. Jahangiri highlighted that his cabinet has found a list of ten frequently smuggled goods which will be strictly controlled in the future.

He then criticized Mr. Ghalibaf and Mr. Raeisi adding past wrong policies pushed the country’s economy to the verge of collapse.

Mr. Raeisi who was challenged about his plans to counter smuggling of goods to the country, started his remarks with defending the origins of his plans. Raeisi affirmed that he has taken his plans from experienced academicians. Mr. Hashemitaba said that he was disappointed that 114 official wharfs were involved in importing goods without paying customs. Mr. Mirsalim commented on Mr. Jahangiri’s remarks saying that even Jahangiri himself did not have a plan to address the problem. 

Mostafa Mirsalim was the second candidate who opened discussion over his plan to develop exporting and stop selling crude oil. Mr. Mirsalim lashed out at Dr. Rouhani’s administration for selling crude oil. Rouhani defended the performance of his administration saying that the nuclear deal, the JCPOA, opened the exporting market of the country.  

Mr. Rouhani was the third candidate being asked what the problem of the banking system was. He said that the system has been amended in some parts but the banking system still needs corrections.

Mr. Hashemitaba opened the debate on improving economy in areas of agriculture, industry, and services. “How would your administration improve economy in areas of agriculture, industry, and services to create jobs for young people and the university graduates?” Mr. Hashemitaba said that to preserve the dignity, independence, and the future of the country, the economy should be constructed on production and providing facilities. He asserted that going after quick industries will not guarantee a good economy and reassured that export oriented economy with rooted industries is the answer to the problems of the country. Mr. Ghalibaf commented on the same question and highlighted that knowledge-based economy would solve the problem. He then underlined that the main point about economic problems is that there is a 4% group of people who are benefiting from the country of the rest (96%). Mr. Mirsalim stressed that the current administration has been so much involved with the inflation that has forgotten the recession.

Quite the contrary of the second televised debate, Ghalibaf who opened the first question on last Friday, was the last opener on this Friday. Ghalibaf was asked what his plans will be to increase the economic growth rate to meet the objectives outlined in the 1404 document. He answered the question with putting the blame on Rouhani’s administration for high prices of the necessary goods and for the high rate of the unemployment. To chase the tax evaders was one of the policies of Ghalibaf in order to improve the country’s economy.

After the first part of the program which lasted for 2.5 hours the candidates were given a 15 minute break to continue the program afterward.

In the second round, Ghalibaf started the debate. He was asked what his administration’s plan will be to improve agriculture and the industries related to agriculture? He opened his remarks challenging all candidates to provide the list of their properties and possessions. He described his move as an important step for transparency.   

Then Mr. Raeisi was asked about his administration’s plan to counter corruption in all its forms. He said that corruption should be tackled in everywhere regardless of the relations with officials. Mr. Hashemitaba was asked how his government will correct the taxing system of the country. Before answering the question he denied to accept Ghalibaf’s challenge of expressing the list of possessions.    

However, Hashemitaba challenged the candidates to provide the list of their financial supporters.

In response to the question, Hashemitaba said that he would use the system underway in Europe to monitor the financial transactions of the people.

Mr. Rouhani was asked to give his opinion about the opportunities and challenges of the liquidity growth. He used his time to fire back at his rival Mr. Raeisi. At the end of his permitted time he asserted that inflation is the major criterion to decide about the liquidity growth. 

Mr. Jahangiri, the same way, used his time to fire back at his rival Mr. Ghalibaf and Mr. Mirsalim was asked about his plan to grow knowledge based businesses in country. Mirsalim talked about his previous experiences and said that there should be a connection between universities and industries.

YNG/3976771

News Code 125339

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