Iran’s national car production is devastated

“Car importers’ alliance with mafia bands/ intruders in parliament and the government involved with their own business”

To support and create jobs in old and somewhat fragile industries, it’s a common practice everywhere in the world to improve economic structures through such measures like imposing high tariffs on imports, so that crushing economic pressures are removed from workers and shifted to importers instead. In Iran under the rule of mullahs, however, there’s a totally different story.

“No matter how much the workers keep saying out loud that they have the capacity to produce fully domestic cars without needing to import any parts, the officials pretend they don’t see or hear anything, as they look at Iran as their working place while spending their lives abroad. That’s why they’re scattering mortal soil over the country’s production,” says head of Iran Auto Industry Workers Trade Union ‘Mojtaba Hajizadeh’, according to state-run ILNA news agency on July 19, 2018.

The Central Bank recently released a list of importers that have received subsidized foreign currency from the government. According to the list, regime’s Health Ministry has imported the most foreign-manufactured vehicles while receiving 18 million 534 thousand Euros.

Although Health Ministry officials claim that they’ve spent all the money on importing ambulances, and not cars, to renovate their fleet, but the claim is questionable due to a number of reasons, with the most important one being the fact that the ambulances deployed in medical centers run on diesel fuel and their engine sizes are higher than 2000cc, which is contrary to the Ministry’s import description, claiming that the imported vehicles’ engine displacement is between 1501 to 2000cc and that they run on gas.

The car importers have in total received more than 100 million Euros at subsidized rate from the government. But that’s not all they’ve received, as in addition to taking advantage of such state facilities, the importers also enjoy a parliamentary support.

The MPs reduced car import tariffs to 20 percent in May, meaning the importers can now benefit from a double-sided support.

According to ILNA, it seems that the officials responsible for making decisions at highest levels have no concerns about employment and increasing workers’ job security. The only thing they care about is how to secure the highest profit for the importers and how to protect them from any possible losses, as the officials’ policies in no way shows any sign of caring about national interests or public benefits.

“The government and bodies responsible for allocating subsidized foreign currency provide big importers, who are hand in hand with mafia groups, with the subsidized 4200-toman US Dollar for import, regardless of the negative effects the policy has for auto manufacturing, as the country’s mother industry, and auto workers alike,” says Mojtaba Hajizadeh.

Hajizadeh pointed out that the importing companies have imported Chinese, Korean, Japanese and French cars in excess of the country’s market demand while using the subsidized 4200-toman US Dollar they’ve received from the government, saying “the importers have already imported enough cars to meet the country’s auto market demand this year, so that there’s no need for further imports. Nonetheless, more and more cars are still being imported.”

“Despite workers loudly complaining about lack of job security, insufficient salaries and having to endure heavy economic pressures, the country’s customs offices keep releasing more and more import cars. How could we ever produce a national car under such conditions? The country’s car manufacturers are able to produce high quality cars that could at least compete with the neighboring countries’ products, only if the state-linked executives who are running the country’s rentiering and mafia systems allow,” Hajizadeh said.

Head of Auto Workers Trade Union then indicated that auto industry is among the mother industries that could directly create jobs for hundreds of thousands, saying “but what exactly have they done so the auto manufacturers are speaking of workforce adjustment? What have they done that even the country’s auto manufacturers turn to importing cars?”

“The state-linked circles involved in importing auto parts from China, Korea and other countries are doing their best to push the idea that Iran’s industry is not able to produce high quality auto parts, so it’s necessary to import such products in this difficult situation,” says Hajizadeh, adding “Together with their partners who provide them with subsidized foreign currencies, such importers have blocked every pathway through which the country’s production could breathe, in such a way that no manufacturer is willing to produce auto parts anymore.”

“They deceive people into believing that they constantly need such importers to provide them with safe cars that could save their lives. Highlighting Iranian workers’ shortcomings is the highest achievement of such rent-seekers. To earn their livelihood, they can think of no other option but making easy money. To be honest, they provide their families with luxury foods at the expense of workers losing their jobs.”

Head of Auto Industry Workers Trade Union then referred to a number of apparently car importing companies that have received subsidized foreign currency to import such irrelevant products like tea makers or cereals, saying “when you take a look at such companies’ articles of association, you’ll notice that it says ‘unrestrained import and export’, where does that come from?

“Why such companies are given a free hand to destroy the country’s production and force workers out of their jobs? Subtly and insidiously, the process started a few years ago in the shape of a soft-war, pretending to support domestic products while actually being in contrast to resistance economy objectives.

“Sometime they bam importing cars that their engine size is greater than 2500cc, saying such cars are not proper for a country that aims to reduce fuel consumption. But when you look at the cars on the streets, then you’ll find out what’s really going on! The streets are filled with countless number of cars that their engine capacities are higher than 2500cc.

“This means that the import restriction is only on paper, despite some claiming that they’ve absolutely stopped such cars from being imported.

“People are aware of such violations and law evasion moves thanks to social networks, the information on which cannot be totally ruled out as untrue. There are definitely evil intentions behind such high-volume destructive import, and we won’t have the chance to wake up if we keep on sleeping.”

Source » ncr-iran

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