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Presidential candidate: Goods smuggling serious problem



Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, one of the six candidates for the Iranian presidential elections stressed that goods smuggling is a great hindrance to the economic progress of the country

Appearing on Channel One of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting in a debate with his five rivals on Friday, Qalibaf presented his viewpoints on the economic affairs of Iran.

He focused on goods smuggling and imports, saying that they are two of the biggest problems the country faces. He added that some people prefer import to export because their benefit lies in it.

Moreover, he said, “Production should go back to its right course. Today, people who want to create jobs are under a lot of pressure from goods and currency smuggling and uncontrolled imports.’

Talking about Iran’s banking system, he said that loans are given only to a limited number and that investors and depositors don’t feel safe. He added that the liquidity in Iran has created unemployment.

Qalibaf further noted that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has failed in properly supervising and managing banks. He added that liquidity has tripled under the present administration.

“I will create 1.2 million jobs in the rural areas, in small industries, agriculture and herbal plants … We need to stress on private and cooperative sectors,” Qalibaf said.

He who also serves as the mayor of Tehran added, “We have enough properly-educated work force in every field and we also have good domestic assets and of course we need to attract foreign capital as well.”

He further noted, “Our country faces an economic crisis, i.e. unemployment, recession and high prices.”

He stressed that it is the governments’ duty to help people during crisis.

Urging the necessity to deal with the unemployment problem, Qalibaf said that based on official statistics, the number of jobless Iranians are 3.5 million. He said that unofficial sources put the number of the unemployed between 6 and 7 million.

He said that the system of taxation isn’t fair and must become fair. Minor producers and businesspersons must be exempted from paying taxes. He added that now the rich don’t pay tax as they legally should.

At the end, he said, “As long as corruption exists, we won’t have economic growth.”

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