Iran development projects not getting state funds:
TEHRAN, Aug 8 (AFP) - Some 30,000 major development projects in Iran
risk being abandoned because state banks have failed to allocate the necessary
funds, a conservative newspaper said here Sunday.
"Of these about 9,000 are industrial projects that were only launched
with great difficulty and have not been followed up on," the Abrar
daily said, adding that Iran 's state-run banks remain unwilling to fund
"Taking inflation into account, an investment of billions of dollars
is needed to complete them," it said.
It did not give a precise breakdown of the kinds of projects but said
they included virtually all important fields of development, including
transportation, utilities, heavy industry and other infrastructure sectors.
The paper lashed out over projects it said never got beyond "a
ribbon-cutting ceremony or an inaugural scoop of the shovel."
But Parviz Ahmadi, managing director of the Refah Bank, said that since
the 1979 Islamic revolution Iran 's banks were paying greater attention
to where their investments were going.
"Now bank credits are paid to those projects which generate employment.
Before the revolution banks did not care about where the money went or
whether it created jobs," he said, quoted in the English-language
MPs and the press have in recent months been stressing the need to complete
thousands of development projects begun under former president Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani but never completed.
Curent President Mohammad Khatami has tried to attract some eight billion
dollars in new investments to revitalise Iran 's stumbling economy, which
was hard-hit by the recent slump in oil prices.
The Islamic republic has also been hampered by Washington's unilateral
sanctions which have kept US oil firms from participating in Iran 's petroleum
Oil accounts for roughly 80 percent of Iran 's hard-currency earnings
and about half of total state revU