DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran plans to offer price and tax incentives to private investors to take over idle state projects and help boost the economy, state media reported on Saturday, as the country faces likely US sanctions and the exit of many foreign companies.
In May the United States pulled out of a multinational deal to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, and Washington has told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial measures.
The new Iranian plan, along with action against alleged financial crime, appears to be aimed at easing concern over the US decision.
The probable return of sanctions has triggered a rapid fall of Iran’s currency, protests by bazaar traders usually loyal to the Islamist rulers, and a public outcry over alleged profiteering.
The plan will offer attractive prices and flexible terms as well as tax holidays for investors who agree to take over some of the 76,000 government projects which are unfinished or idle, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said on state television.
“Over the past few months, the country’s liquidity has gone into housing, foreign exchange and gold coins, raising prices and provoking public concerns,” Mr Jahangiri was quoted as saying by the website of the state broadcaster.
“A main issue in the meeting … was to find solutions to push liquidity towards employment and activating manufacturing,” Mr Jahangiri added after the meeting attended by President Hassan Rouhani, and the heads of parliament and the judiciary.