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MPs Discussing Plan to Merge Culture Ministry and ICHTHO

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 29 (ICANA) – A proposal to merge Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Iran Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization has recently been presented by 90 MPs.
Sunday, May 29, 2011 10:41:13 AM
MPs Discussing Plan to Merge Culture Ministry and ICHTHO

Through the merger of the Culture Ministry and the ICHTHO, the MPs intend to impose their supervision over the duties that have been defined for the ICHTHO, which is managed by a director who is normally a vice president and a cabinet member.

“If the ICHTHO is amalgamated with one of the ministries, the MPs will be able to demand explanations about the ICHTHO’s missions,” one of the MPs, Mehrdad Ba’uj-Lahuti, told Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Meanwhile, some MPs have criticized the plan to combine the Culture Ministry and the ICHTHO.

“Any action to slim down governmental agencies is in the line with the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), but it should not be railroaded through,” said MP Hassan Malek-Mohammadi, who is an opponent of the proposal.

In 2008, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strongly objected to a similar proposal to combine the two institutions.

At the time, he said that the plan for the merger of the Culture Ministry and the ICHTHO was not “to the benefit of the country.”

“In addition, it is against the Constitution, because the president is in charge of administrative and employment affairs, and any plan to establish or combine organizations must be presented by the administration,” he added.

Many organizations working in the fields of cultural heritage, tourism, and handicrafts also raised objections to the plan in 2008, and consequently, the Majlis dropped the plan.

The Majlis was recently outraged over President Ahmadinejad’s decision to merge the Oil Ministry and the Energy Ministry, and the Industries and Mines Ministry with the Commerce Ministry in early May. Previously, he had combined the Welfare Ministry with the Labor Ministry.

It seems that the Majlis is using the plan to amalgamate the Culture Ministry and the ICHTHO to rebuke President Ahmadinejad for his recent decision to merge a number of ministries without parliamentary approval.

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