In compliance with the implementation of Article 44 of the Iranian constitution, the government has announced the sale of 40 percent of government shares in 14 state-owned companies, including the National Iranian Gas Company, National Petrochemical Company, Iran Air, Iranian Oil Terminals Company, Iranian Tobacco Company, National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, and 10 percent of its shares in a number of oil refineries, the official government website Dolat reported.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on July 28 and approved by the president, the website reported on August 2.
The shares were to be sold at the prices listed on the Tehran Stock Market.
The shares are to be transferred to the “Justice Shares” schemes, the creation and distribution of which has been a cornerstone of Ahmadinejad's economic policy.
According to the Minister of the Economy Shamsoldin Hosseini, some 23 million villagers have received “Justice Shares.”
However, despite promises, workers' representatives have complained that they have not received any shares as the company responsible for distributing the 'Justice Shares' is due to be liquidated at the end of September.
"Workers are still waiting for Justice Shares, as they are among the low-income groups of society, and must be given the priority in the allocation of supporting services," the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) quoted Ali Akbar Eyvazi, a member of the Tehran Province Forum of Islamic Labor Councils.
During its first term, the Ahmadinejad government privatized hundreds of state companies and promised to accelerate the process during its second term.