By the end of the Third Five Year Development Plan (2000-2005), Iran Oil Ministry plans to offload 23 firms, reported Iran Daily. Those firms scheduled for private ownership are linked to the liquefied gas distribution centers that are affiliated to petrochemical complexes and downstream sectors within the Oil Ministry.
Ministry officials said that the move comes amidst strong public opposition. However, the government agenda is to make the industry more efficient and to “lighten the load of the government”.
The issue of privatization is under harsh criticism for the sale of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), valued between $400-$500 million. Sixty percent of NITC shares will be put into the State Welfare Association and the Oil Ministry Employees’ Pension Fund to compensate for stock options.
Placing the NITC on the private market will make the company more profitable and more competitive, said Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh. -(Albawaba-MEBG)
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