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Data show lower budget deficit, higher debt

By Petra - Dec 30,2014 - Last updated at Dec 30,2014

AMMAN — The budget deficit at the end of November 2014 amounted to around JD696 million compared with JD898 million at the end of the same period last year, Finance Minister Umayya Toukan said on Tuesday.  

In a statement, the minister said the deficit figure is in line with financial reforms and the state budget law. 

According to financial data for the first 11 months of this year, total local revenues and external grants amounted to around JD5.6 billion, a 19.5 per cent increase over the JD4.7 billion during the same period of last year.

Local revenues amounted to around JD4.9 billion, 18 per cent higher than the JD4.1 billion during the same period of last year.  

The data showed total expenditure reached around JD6.3 billion compared with JD5.6 billion, a 12.8 per cent increase. 

Toukan said net public debt was 7.2 per cent higher at the end of November 2014, as it reached around JD20.4 billion, representing 80 per cent of the estimated gross domestic product (GDP) for 2014.

Net public debt in 2013 amounted to JD19.1 billion, representing 80.1 per cent of last year's GDP.  

The statement said the net public debt includes the amounts borrowed to cover the cumulative debt of the National Electric Power Company, which is close to JD4.5 billion, or 17.6 percentage points of  GDP up to November 2014. 

As a result (of this borrowing), the net public debt  rose from around 62.4 per cent to around 80 per cent of the GDP estimated for 2014, the statement indicated. 

Turning to the issue of increasing transparency and further financial disclosures, Toukan said the ministry is working to ensure a periodic issuance of the ministry’s financial bulletin, which seeks to display financial data in a transparent manner.

The ministry’s last issued bulletin included additional data on the public debt, he added.

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