By: Mir M.Hosseini
The fifth Majlis approved a bill presented by the government creating state monopoly over trade of sugar. Reza Shah favored a centralized government with state control over essentials such as wheat, sugar, and tea. By exclusive control of such necessities in the market, he aimed at controlling production, import, sales and distribution and keeping the prices stable. This way, the state could face extreme cases such as possible famine caused by natural disasters or wars.
There's no doubt that the Qajar Dynasty had kept Iran backwards in every way and Reza Shah brought peace and security to the country that was necessary for development.
In 1938, he completed Trans-Iranian Railway, a very big project which was financed by people; imposing a small tax on tea and sugar created necessary funds for construction of the state-of-the-art project.
State monopoly in this manner may be useful in systems that are transparent. On the other hand, there are many cases of failure where such monopolies have led to creation of mafia and power groups inside government ranks that take over the political decision making centers gradually. A systematic audit by independent NGO's, public access to information alongside free media are basic elements for success of such a system.