Tehran’s car imports policy criticized as too conservative

Published December 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran’s English-language daily newspaper, Iran News, has criticized in a lead editorial the way in which the government in Tehran formulated its decision to permit new model cars into the country. The newspaper did not believe the decision was flawed; on the contrary, it felt that the government had been too conservative in implementing its new policy. 


The decision to allow the entry into Iran of 10,000 commercial and private vehicles was made by a four-person committee, whose embers included Mohammad Hashemi, the vice president of executive affairs; Mohammad Shariatmadari, the minister of commerce; Gholamreza Shafei, the minister of industries; and Mohsen Nourbakhsh, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran. The committee had been appointed by the cabinet to decide the issue. 


But the Iran Times editorial denounced what it referred to as an “arbitrary” quota. It questioned why the committee had limited the number of vehicles, when there exists a shortfall of some 500,000 cars annually. Furthermore, the newspaper stated, official statistics prove than more than half of the cars on the road in Iran are 20 years old and more. Taking this into consideration, it suggested that the government first phases out all “dilapidated cars” before allowing new model cars to enter the country 


More ominously, the newspaper questioned as to whom is likely to gain most from the new strategy. Noting that the entry of new cars will result in older vehicles placed on the second hand market, the Iran Times suggested that those who will be in a position to sell their used cars will enjoy most the consequences on the import strategy. — (Albawaba-MEBG)

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