Wed, Nov 29, 2006
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Land Reclamation Notification Soon
Simultaneous Dam, Spillways Construction Obligatory
30% Drinking Water Wasted
MP Slams Poor
Anti-Corruption Campaign
Car Production
Exceeds Demand
Venezuelan Auto Assembly
Plant Operational
SEC Chief:
Promote Culture of Wealth Generation
MoU on Cellphone Manufacture
Afghans Seek Investments

Land Reclamation Notification Soon
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--Minister of Roads and Transportation here Monday disclosed that the ministry will soon notify the Ports and Shipping Organization of a land reclamation plan in the Caspian Sea coastal cities, particularly Ramsar and Chalous in Mazandaran province.
Mohammad Rahmati, who was speaking at the 7th Seminar on Coasts, Ports and Marine Structures, noted that the said organization should implement the pilot land reclamation project which is aimed at developing the tourism industry, Mehr reported.
Referring to the southern Iranian coasts, he noted that the southern coastline stretches over 2,000 kilometers, adding that given that the said coasts facilitate access to international waters, their potentials should be fully tapped.
“Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel is to visit the Chabahar free trade zone and port in near future,“ he announced, adding that the contractor for the development of the strategic southern zone has been named and there would be no problem in financing the giant project.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Ports and Shipping Organization Ali Taheri Motlaq told the same gathering that the there is no specific and powerful authority for managing Iranian coast affairs, adding that some parts of the State Coastal Development Strategy has so far been drawn up.
“Ports and Shipping Organization has set sight on increasing the country’s cargo transportation capacity to 150 million tons by the closing year of the Fourth Development Plan (2005-2010),“ he said, adding that the organization is also seeking to promote Iran’s status in international marine transportation arena.
He announced that the Comprehensive Commercial Ports Scheme is in final stages, adding that the scheme would contribute to the implementation of ports development plans. “Southern ports, including Shahid Rajaei, Imam Khomeini and Bushehr and the northern ports of Anzali and Noshahr are being developed,“ he noted.
Rahmati said that in the Fourth Plan, $3 billion has been allocated to the establishment of infrastructures and implementation of ports and marine projects.

Simultaneous Dam, Spillways Construction Obligatory
30% Drinking Water Wasted
Some $3 billion would be allocated for spillway construction in three years, and no dam would be constructed unless its spillways are constructed concurrently.
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--A senior Energy Ministry official here Monday announced that some 178 dam-building projects are under study nationwide, 50 of which would be implemented by late 2007 when studies on their second phase are completed.
Rasoul Zargar, deputy energy minister for water affairs told ISNA that water storage capacity would increase by 45 billion cubic meters once the said 178 dams become operational, adding that five dams have been commissioned since March while some other ten dams would come into operation by next March.
He said that the government has adopted strategic policies in the water sector, adding that, for example, the ministry has taken plans with quick returns into consideration, defining plans which make quick returns as those which cost less than 50 billion rials and take 2-2.5 years to be implemented.
Given that many dams are left inactive since their spillways-- sections of a dam designed to pass water from the upstream side of a dam to the downstream side--are not constructed or completed, a new policy was adopted, under which the primary and auxiliary spillways would be simultaneously constructed in the early stages of dam-building, he said, adding that the ministry presented a plan to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in this respect.
“Under a recent decision, some $3 billion would be allocated for spillway construction in three years, and no dam would be constructed unless its spillways are constructed concurrently,“ he noted.
Zargar further said that 30 percent of drinking water is wasted due to dilapidated networks, adding that with the maintenance and restoration of malfunctioning systems, this figure would fall by 20 percent.
Iran ranks third after China and Turkey in dam-building and is among the six top countries with engineering and technological capabilities in the key field, he said, adding that compared to the developed countries which saturated their dam-building capacities two decades ago, the current ranking of Iran is unsatisfactory.

MP Slams Poor
Anti-Corruption Campaign
Hamid Reza Katouzian
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--A parliamentarian said here on Tuesday that certain people have launched efforts to obtain huge loans from domestic banks in the name of foreign investments.
Hamid Reza Katouzian, a member of the Majlis Industries and Mines Commission, told Fars that organizations in charge of following up such issues and preventing those who had managed to get huge loans in the past from doing the same today have not fulfilled their responsibilities.
The MP further noted that despite the fact that the chief executive revealed the names of some economic rent-seekers who had obtained loans through illegal channels, the same opportunist have emerged again on the country’s economic scene.
“Such people get loans from domestic banks in the name of foreign investments at a time when some banks refuse to pay $160-loans to the ordinary people,“ he said, adding that a bank has rendered financial facilities worth 15 million euros to a cigarette company.
Katouzian said that the Central Bank of Iran, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and other organizations should do something to stop such people from continuing their activities.
“These people are involved in corruption, because the money they bring into the country is considered as dirty money and because they are involved in money laundering,“ he said.
The MP said the central bank and the ministry should ask investors how they have earned their wealth.
“They should be asked about the source of their money,“ he said, adding that investors should also be asked whether they have paid tax or not.

Car Production
Exceeds Demand
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--Auto industry must give priority to car and auto part exports in light of the fact that national production could sooner or later exceed demand.
According to ILNA, Sassan Qorbani, a member of the Association of Auto Part Makers, further said at the ceremony to announce the schedule for inaugurating the first phase of the Samand manufacturing project in Syria that car exports is the best option for national car industry development programs.
“As far as Syria is concerned, the country does not have robust industrial infrastructure,“ he said, adding that Syria can also gain considerable industrial credibility, if it manages to
develop its car industry in cooperation with Iran.
He said 30 auto part manufacturing companies are involved in the first phase of the project to manufacture the Samand in Syria, stressing that technical standards and project management skills were the main factors involved in choosing these companies.
He said that other car part manufacturing companies will also join the team gradually as the project progresses.
The official said the Middle East’s largest carmaker Iran Khodro has also managed to develop its cooperation with the domestic part makers, stressing that such initiatives could pave the way for car part manufacturing sector’s development.

Venezuelan Auto Assembly
Plant Operational
CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 28--Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Iranian officials inaugurated an automobile assembly plant on Monday, the latest in a series of joint development projects involving the two countries, AP said.
Chavez told state-run television that the plant in Maracay, an industrial city located some 100 kilometers west of Caracas, would produce an estimated 8,000 cars next year that would be sold at prices ranging from US$7,400 (5,642 euros) to US$12,500 (9,531 euros).
Production at the plant is expected to more than triple within three years, Chavez said.
“Within five years, our Iranian brothers will have given us all the technology and knowledge so that all the components are manufactured here in Venezuela,“ said Chavez. “We are going to be truly independent.“
Iranian investment in this oil-rich South American country already includes a production line for tractors, several housing projects and joint oil exploration and production initiatives.

SEC Chief:
Promote Culture of Wealth Generation
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--Chairman of the State Expediency Council (SEC) here Tuesday said that the council took numerous facts into consideration in approving those general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran which ensure the country’s prosperity in all fields.
In a meeting with the members of the scientific board of the National Seminar on General Policies of Article 44 of the Constitution, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani noted the SEC supervises the implementation of general state policies which have been ratified earlier and notified by the Supreme Leader, ISNA reported.
He further said that holding such seminars creates a climate of mental security for those involved in the private sector so that they can invest with peace of mind and raise the awareness of the people and international observers. He underlined that the society should institutionalize the value of generating wealth and not view this as a counter-value.
Meanwhile, State Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei said that the seminar paves the way for the participation of the scientific and economic elites in the development of the private sector.
The National Seminar on the General Policies of the Article 44 of the Constitution will be held in Tehran in the coming weeks in cooperation with the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of the government as well as the State Expediency Council.

MoU on Cellphone Manufacture
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on manufacturing cellphones in Iran has reportedly been signed between an Iranian consortium and Nokia of Finland.
According to Fars, the consortium of the Digital Townships Companies, Soroush Resaneh and Nimeh Hadi Emad have signed the MoU with Nokia.
Initially, the report said, the Iranian consortium will assemble cellphones.
Iran Telecommunications Manufacturing Company (ITMC) is also involved in the project to manufacture cellphone in Iran, said Fars.
The company has finalized talks with MMOBILE of Malaysia and is reportedly planning to begin production by March.
It was said earlier that Soroush Resaneh and Nimeh Hadi Emad--the two Iranian companies which have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Industries and Mines on production of cellphones--would be merged.
The Fars report, however, made no mention of the possible merger.
Mohammad Ebrahim Mottale’, managing director of Iran Telecommunications Manufacturing Company, told Fars earlier that the same companies, including Malaysia’s MMOBILE, Austria’s TELME and Bell of Europe, will eventually cooperate with Iran in the project.
He had said that the ITMC will most likely begin the project by manufacturing 300,000 cellphones.
He said the company is planning to increase production to two million handsets a year.
In July, Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi said that if the Ministry of Industries and Mines fails to get domestic companies to manufacture the required eight million mobile phone handsets by next March, the people will have to pay even more for handsets.
The minister told reporters that if domestic industries cannot produce handsets, tariffs will have to revert to previous levels.
However, he insisted on Monday that mobile phones will have to be manufactured in Iran and that prospects of tariffs being cut down remain unlikely.
Mobile phone handset tariffs were increased by 56 percent to reach 60 percent earlier this year.

Afghans Seek Investments
TEHRAN, Nov. 28--Afghanistan wants greater investments by Iranian companies in the war-ravaged country’s infrastructural projects, said a senior Afghan business official.
According to the Persian daily Donya-ye Eqtesad, Abdolhadi Farhang, who heads the Association of Afghan Traders and Investors, further said that there is adequate ground for involvement of Iranian companies in power plant construction projects in Afghanistan, stressing that they can take part in relevant tenders.
He said many Iranian investors believe that it would be difficult to operate in Afghanistan after visiting the country. “That doing business in Afghanistan would have no benefits is a misconception,“ he stated.
The Afghan official also criticized the Iranian trade authorities for refusing to allow Afghan business owners to operate in Iran, stressing that almost three years have passed since some Afghan traders applied for business permits.
“None of the requests has so far received an affirmative response,“ he said, adding that Iran-made goods are of high quality.
“Afghan people prefer Iranian goods,“ he said, stressing, however, that certain disharmonies have replaced Iranian goods with other country’s merchandise on the Afghan market.