Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Libya, Iran, Kazakhstan: direct distribution mulled

Oraz Jandosov, a former Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, has recently responded to a comment article in the Financial Times (co-authored by a TJN blogger) by about a radical proposal to distribute the proceds of oil extraction to all of a country's citizens. His letter to the FT states:

"I left the government to help establish the pro-democracy opposition political party, Ak Zhol, and serve as its co-chairman. During the 2004 parliamentary elections, a key economic proposition of our platform was to distribute 75 per cent of all extractive taxes directly to the citizens of the country. We proposed quarterly payments, and bank deposits for those under 18 years old.

It was based on detailed economic calculations and was accompanied by an effective public relations campaign, even without equal access to television networks.The Kazakh electorate supported Ak Zhol’s economic programme strongly and our newly established party came a strong second at the polls."

This week's edition of The Economist contains this, in a story about Iran:

"Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament, and Mir Hosein Mousavi, prime minister during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, (are) the only serious contenders for the opposition.
. . .
Mr Karroubi, a turbaned Shia cleric who got 5m votes, nearly as many as Mr Ahmadinejad, in the first round of the presidential polls in 2005, has been equally forthright. Concentrating on the economy, a concern in a country where inflation is running at 25%, he has recruited a team of leading economists and promises to share out oil revenues with every citizen."

This follows another article in the FT last November, this time about Libya:

"Colonel Gaddafi decreed in March a scheme for distributing money and dismantling most ministries, leaving only interior, defence and foreign affairs. . . . he promised that every family would be handed its share of the oil wealth and it would be free to spend it the way it liked."

The form of the Libyan scheme seemed very strange indeed - dismantling ministries sounds just crazy - though this does not detract from the core idea. It has also been recommended by high-level commentators for Iraq, and for Nigeria.

While it is not a core Tax Justice Network issue, it is one to watch, for it is a revolutionary idea, and it seems to be gaining traction.


Blogger bathmate said...

nice posting for this site...

7:47 am  

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