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Iran's Parliament Reacts to Lack of Financial Transparency: Judicial Action Against Administration?

By Rooz Online

With the Ahmadinejad's continued stubbornness in not providing Majlis lawmakers with any explanations of his administration's compliance with the Constitution and the Fourth Development Plan, yesterday Majlis speaker Ali Larijani warned, "The Majlis can consider judicial action against the administration's refusal to provide it with reports."

The Majlis speaker added, "We have reminded the administration orally and in writing of the urgency of receiving reports, but unfortunately the reports have not arrived. The Economics Committee can investigate the issue and present its finding to the Majlis so that the necessary judicial steps can be taken to receive the requested reports."

Larijani's remarks were made after the Majlis committee in charge of supervising the implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution (mandating privatization) announced, "The money that the administration has deposited into the treasury from the proceeds of privatizing public entities is 47.8 percent less than the amount passed in the 2008 budget bill."

Another part of the Article 44 committee's report criticizes the administration's performance, noting that the administration has engaged only in the sale of ownership of some entities without changing their management or structure.

The committee's report also blasts the existence of "quasi-governmental" entities who are the beneficiaries of the change of ownership in state-owned entities (in the name of privatization).

A section of the report declares, "A large portion of the 190 thousand and 114 billion Rials of the purchased stock until October 2009 in the name of privatizing state-owner entities was essentially purchased not by private entities but by entities affiliated with state institutions that are not part of the private sector."

One instance of the practice discussed in the Majlis report relates to the sale of the 10,000 billion Rial "Anguran" mine (the largest lead mine in the Middle East located in the province of Zanjan) for 1,870 billion Rials to the "Mehr Eghtesad Iran" company, which belongs to the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Basij division.

The report also discusses the recent sale of 51 percent of the Iranian Telecommunication Organization's stock to the "Tose'e Etemad Mobin" corporation (belonging to the IRGC) in the name of privatization.

According to the Article 44 Majlis committee, another instance of a violation by the administration for which no explanation or report has yet been provided regards the distribution of the 220 thousand billion Rials worth of stock of large state-owned enterprises to families. The administration has refused to pay dividends on the stocks and, in violation of the law, has not deposited the proceeds of payments (made by individual purchasers) to the national treasury.

... Payvand News - 11/23/09 ... --

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