TEHRAN, July 3 (MNA) -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday issued an executive order for privatization of state companies as envisaged by Article 44 of the Constitution.

The plan aims to privatize state industries, excluding companies in the oil sector.


Tehran Stock Exchange Director Ali Salehabadi announced that the organization is prepared to sell off the shares of state-run companies through the stock market.


“We are planning to implement Article 44 of the Constitution,” he told the Mehr News Agency.


Selling the shares through the stock market will guarantee that all the people will be informed of the details of the sales fairly and properly, he noted.


Iraj Akbariyeh, an advisor to the industries and mines minister, said that the Industries and Mines Ministry is ready to sell 80 percent of the shares of four companies, the Isfahan Steel Complex, the Khuzestan Steel Complex, the Mobarakeh Steel Complex, and the Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex.


“The ministry had carried out the preliminary measures to sell the shares of these companies and was waiting for the Leader’s order,” he added.


He said that the value of the shares depends on the conditions of supply and demand in the market as the shares should be valued at appropriate and logical prices.


In his executive order, the Supreme Leader said that ceding 80 percent of the shares of large companies will serve to bring about economic development, social justice, and the elimination of poverty.


Majlis Telecommunications Committee Chairman Ramezan-Ali Sadeqzadeh said that this plan will put an end to all resistance to privatization by large state companies.


He stated that the privatization bid in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology began during the Third Development Plan (2000-2005), but with this plan there is no excuse for ministry directors to resist the process and it will end the monopolization.


Former deputy minister of economic affairs and finance Mohsen Safaii Farahani called the move a “major and strategic step” to clear the path for the entry of private sector companies into activities which had previously been prohibited for them.


“A competitive atmosphere should be created for the activities of the private sector. For example, there is no ban on signing deals with the private sector but, in the last seven or eight months, the major contracts in the country have been signed with institutions other than the private sector,” Safaii Farahani noted.


According to the Fourth Development Plan (2005-2010), the government or government institutions should participate in activities that the private sector shows no interest in or is unable to perform, he said.


Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Davud Danesh-Jafari told reporters on Monday that the plan would create a great reform in the country’s economy. He said the purpose behind the plan is to “prevent monopolization by the government or the private sector.”


Through such a plan, the government will delegate a major part of its activities to the private and cooperatives sectors, he added.


The size of the government will be reduced by selling 80 percent of the large state companies, he said, noting, “Generally, such policies will have a determining effect on the country’s development.”


On Monday, Judiciary Chief Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi called on Judiciary officials to heed the Leader’s privatization order, calling the move the savior of the country’s economy.


The executive, legislative, and judiciary branches should put the privatization plans high on their agendas to encourage sound economic competition in the country, he added. 


President's request for privatization okayed


Ayatollah Khamenei on Monday accepted a request from President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to cede 50 percent of shares of state-run enterprises by installment to provincial investment cooperatives and the two lowest-level income groups of the society.


The Leader also underscored the need to form a special team to monitor full implementation of the action plan on privatization.


Ayatollah Khamenei made it clear that share prices should be determined in the stock exchange and that the two lowest-level income groups below the poverty line should be given a 50 percent discount and that their payments should be made as a 10-year installment.


He ordered the heads of the three branches of government to accurately monitor implementation of the plan and to prevent opportunists from influencing the process.





News Code 17921

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