TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran’s Supreme Audit Court has canceled a government decision made two years ago to divest shares in the country’s largest farming company to private owners.
In a ruling issued on Wednesday, an advisory committee of the Audit Court ruled against the privatization of Moghan Agriculture, Industry and Livestock Company, which had been granted in October 2018, Press TV reported.
Verdicts by the audit court, a subsidiary of the Iranian Parliament, would be binding if no appeal is made within 20 days from issuance.
Moghan, located in the northwestern province of Ardebil, had been sold for nearly 18 trillion rials (over $500 million at the exchange rate back then) to Shirin Asal Food Group and partners.
However, the privatization faced growing criticism from the very start with many believing the firm, which employs thousands of people and owns 2,600 hectares of orchards, had been sold very cheap.
A parliamentary lawmaker from Ardebil told IRNA that the private owners had benefitted considerably from nearly two years of operation in the company and the government would owe them almost nothing in damages.
Sodeyf Badri said renationalizing Moghan was a popular demand among people in the Azarbaijan and Ardebil regions, which is home to the Iranian Azari community.
Ahmad Alirezabeigi, another lawmaker representing the city of Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan Province, claimed Moghan’s current value has exceeded 400 trillion rials (nearly $1.35 billion).
Alirezabeigi said five members of the advisory committee of the audit court had ruled against the privatization, while one endorsed it and one was absent during the hearing held earlier on Wednesday.
- source : Iran Daily