The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

June 2018, No. 87


Private Sector and the Government Accountability!

Precise and realistic policies cannot be taken without the participation of interest groups and without utilizing the capabilities of the community.

Massoud Khansari, Chairman of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture says that the essence of expert opinion is sometimes criticized, and therefore it is necessary today to remind the government of some points concerning the determination of the policies of the new Persian year 1397 (starting March 21). The Iranian people left behind the year 1396 (ending March 20, 2018), under conditions that economic problems such as unemployment, production, the banking system crisis, foreign exchange prices, subsidies and the like, and the pressures caused as a result had made life miserable for them, especially for the low-income groups.

On the other hand, some economic decisions not only did not lead to a definitive improvement of the general economic and social conditions of the country, but also led to the creation and intensification of the problems. The experience of the past years shows that we should look at the daily economic decisions in a wider scope and in a different way from the past.

The fact is that despite the government’s positive measures to facilitate business conditions, the social environment is still not favorable for long-term economic activities, especially for productive activities. The three variables of “unpredictability”, “the low level of stakeholder participation in decision making and policy making process,” and “the continuation of inefficient policies without clear and promising prospects” make the environment unfavorable for economic activities.

The successive changes in economic decisions and some of them being immature have made it impossible for economic activists to draw a mid-term future picture. While economic activists, more than any other component, need stability and the ability to assess future processes, but today for example they cannot plan for a five-year period. Consequently they devote all their efforts and resources to solving their daily problems, and delegate the decisions on “the affairs of tomorrow” to “tomorrow”.

The economic conditions, as mentioned, are risky. Once again, we need to emphasize that we are in a new situation. Our society has undergone profound transformations, and the process of global transformation is enormous and requires new and different approaches. Policy-making and decision-making in the ways we have already taken will not help us achieve our goals. Precise and realistic policies cannot be taken without the participation of interest groups and without utilizing the capabilities of the community.

In this framework, policymakers and economic decision makers have to be addressed and asked to answer the following questions in any decision they make: how long will their decisions last? Can they ensure the economic community that their decisions take into account different probabilities, and economic activists can count on the sustainability of these decisions for the medium term? Can they predict significantly what will be the limits of the changes and policies? Have these decisions been made in such a way that producers, investors and private sector activists who are interested in developing their homeland can work more confidently and create promising prospects? These are questions that policymakers and economic decision makers are expected to answer. But the private sector in Iran hopes that under the shadow of an outlook  coupled with tact and wisdom, the economy of the Persian calendar year 1397 will be such that entrepreneurship will turn into culture, pride and national honor. All these will be possible when the government can respond to fundamental questions and correct the approaches. We as entrepreneurs and the private sector vest our hope in the New Year (1397), its positive developments and a brilliant economy.


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  June 2018
No. 87