Managing director of the bank, who was an old employee of Bank Saderat called Mr. Tabibian
, was a citizen of Shahreza city.One day, the managing director told me that one of his relatives who held a doctorate degree in economics from the United States had come to Iran and since universities were closed, he was looking for a job.
I told him that I would be happy to see him.The newcomer was Dr. Seyed Mohammad Tabibian
came to the bank one or two days later and we met.During the first meeting, he
was holding a string of beads in his
hand and looked a solemn, committed and intelligent Muslim who had good command of economics and looked self-reliant.He had been excellent student of economics at Shiraz University during bachelor's and master's courses.He
had been given a scholarship by the university to continue his
studies in the United States.He had obtained his doctorate in economics from a creditable university and had left for Iran immediately after graduation just to serve his country and people.He
clearly had a powerful personality and yearend to serve his
immediately started to work with economic studies department of the bank across the province.This was how I came to know a man who played a major role in the economic scene of Iran over the next 25 years both with regard to educational and scientific activities, and in terms of executive posts he
held.This introduction was the start of a long-lasting friendship during which Dr. Tabibian
scientific talent as well as a powerful personality.
A large part of those changes were result of endeavors made by the big economist of our country, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Tabibian
Under those conditions when no planning system was in effect and inexperienced managers had taken charge of the country's affairs as Cabinet ministers, governors, directors general and heads of various governmental offices, rebuilding planning system of the country, introducing managers to concepts of planning, availing of those concepts to set goals and adopt policies, drawing up plans and allocating limited resources were very important to realization of goals.Dr. Tabibian
played a very salient role at that juncture to create theoretical and administrative order, at least, for planning and policymaking in the country and training directors and experts for the nascent system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.From this viewpoint, he
greatly served the system as well as its directors and experts.Another critical field where Dr. Tabibian
played a key role was triggering a long-lasting development in educating economics in Iran.
Since changing mentality of high school elite to choose those courses for their bachelor's degree studies seemed a remote possibility and, in addition, facilities for qualitative education of them was lacking on a large scale, a group of our friends, including Dr. Tabibian
reached the conclusion that the way should be paved for top graduates of engineering and scientific majors to study in economics, planning and management.
Economic major of that course was taught by Dr. Tabibian
Although emigration of some of our friends including Dr. Tabibian
to Tehran weakened that master's degree course at Isfahan University of Technology
, the same course or other courses with the same goals were introduced at the High Institute of Plan and Development Research
in Tehran as of early 1990s and Dr. Tabibian
trained a considerable number of talented youth during more than 12 courses at that institute in the field of economics and in cooperation in other colleagues.
is very serious and even bigoted about the value, complexity and depth of human knowledge in the field of economics.He
loves it and keeps up-to-date through constant study.He
tries to use the most recent books and papers and to introduce his
students to the depth and accuracy of this field of knowledge.In addition, he
takes advantage of complex economic principles and theories which he
has understood correctly, to solve Iran's economic problems.For this reason, multitude of students who have learnt economics from Dr. Tabibian
both at Isfahan University of Technology
and at the High Institute for Plan and Development Research
in Tehran, have a good grasp of economics.Those who have remained in Iran have been very effective in their respective field of activity either at large-scale, sectoral or corporate levels.A remarkable number of his
students have received scholarships from creditable universities of the world and are continuing their studies abroad.They have attested to quality of education that they had received in the field of economics in Iran through their excellent work at those universities.I hope that when they return, they would be able to bring about positive changes in the field of economic education and research.Iranian economy has witnessed positive development over the past two decades and we will see their outcomes in the future.A large part of those changes were result of endeavors made by the big economist of our country, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Tabibian
. In addition to changing economic education in the country, Dr. Tabibian has been a pioneer in the field of economic planning and policymaking too.He
was instrumental in formulation of the First Economic Development Plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran during 1981-82, whose ratification by the Islamic Consultative Assembly was aborted due to wartime conditions of those years.He
has played direct and indirect roles in drawing up the First Economic Development Plan and the Third Economic Development Plan and he
was also in charge of implementing the Second Economic Development Plan.His
involvement in policymaking and planning influenced his
teaching and also, his
persistent teaching and studies increased his
scientific weight in practical fields.
Some analysts, quite mistakenly and unjustly, blame current economic problems such as inflation, unemployment and poverty on people like Dr. Tabibian
who has been active in the field of economic policymaking and planning.They ignore several important points.Firstly, such problems may be the result of in attention to recommendations offered by people like Dr. Tabibian
recommendations included the necessity of reducing budget deficit and instilling financial discipline in governments to control inflation, not paying subsidies on a general basis to all good sand services and instead paying purposeful subsidies through disbursing direct aid to poor people, phasing out state-run pricing and allocation systems1 which pave the way for economic rent seeking and also prevents correct interpretation of important and accurate signals that are sent by prices and which can be used for proper allocation of economic resources.Not complying with the said recommendations will give rise to problems, which cannot be blamed on those whose recommendations have gone unheeded.
The second point that is ignored by critics is that if people like Dr. Tabibian
had not endeavored to make economic decisions more rational, the current situation could have been much worse.Preventing economic mess, as well as remarkable growth of agriculture, industry and infrastructural facilities during 1989-2004 can be considered a result of scholarly, honest and sincere efforts made by him and people like him who served their country through spending long hours on expert studies at their offices.
Finally, the third point which is overlooked by critics is that economic performance of any country is affected by other domains such as domestic policy, international relations and quality of management.Many factors outside the economic sphere such as instability in domestic policies, appointing managers without making sure about their professional qualifications, political support for rent seeking, disrupting judicial procedures or inefficiency of such procedures, as well as turmoil in international relations will cripple any economic system.I believe that it would be injustice and ingratitude to blame problems on those whose entire lives have been allocated to serve domestic economy and advance it in scientific aspects.Many years should pass and many things should happen before our society raises another person like Dr. Tabibian
who is both intelligent and committed, scholar and pundit, and also loves his
country and people.Good grounds should be provided; so that, he
can serve the country and make his
lasting mark on practical and scientific developments in a major field of knowledge which is known as economics.Of course, nobody is aware of absolute truth in any field and no scholar man can make such a claim, for this reason, scientists are always trying to refute past theories and come up with something new.Perhaps Dr. Tabibian
has made mistakes in some fields, but this will neither reduce his
scientific worth, nor the value of his