The University of Tehran President Farhad Rahbar said during a roundtable discussion on the state of economy on Saturday that legitimate businesses and individuals are refusing to participate in the privatization program of government-owned industries. He blamed the lack of transparency of the bidding process and widespread corruption for their lack of participation in the program.
“In many instances, the (government-owned industries) are transferred to people without expertise and experience due to corruption,” Rahbar said. “The negotiations with bidders are conducted behind closed doors, without the participation of the office of the inspector general or other oversight agencies,” he added (Fars News Agency, 4 December).
The university president also expressed his concerns about the income tax regime in the country. He said in the past 30 years, the income tax has fluctuated between 4 to 9 percent of the country’s GDP. In advanced economies, he observed, the income tax is at 30-35 percent of the GDP, and in the neighboring Turkey is at 24 percent. Rahbar called for the major overhaul of the tax system. Today, the government invited a panel of experts to discuss the tax issue.