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‘No corruption file will be closed before justice is served’

Razzaz outlines course of action to reforms

By JT - Sep 10,2018 - Last updated at Sep 10,2018

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz delivers a lecture at the University of Jordan on Sunday (Photo by Nader Daoud)

AMMAN — No corruption case will be closed before concluding all legal procedures, including cases related to the Jordan Phosphate Mining Company and suspect Walid Kurdi, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Sunday.

In a lecture he delivered at the University of Jordan’s Centre of Strategic Studies, Razzaz referred to correspondence with relevant institutions in the UK to bring back Kurdi, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The premier also pledged transparency and addressing corruption, stressing that each citizen has the right to call for fighting corruption and the government has to counter graft with full responsibility.

He said that procedures in the tobacco case are going through judicial and administrative courses, pledging not to close the case before concluding all legal actions against involved people.

Meanwhile, Razzaz noted that the government had reached joint formula with the International Monetary Fund on the income tax draft law, stressing that there are no pressures on the Kingdom to endorse it, especially that the bill is of higher national interest that affects economic, social and political stability.

The prime minister said that the Cabinet is about to prepare the draft law, which will be broadcast on the Prime Ministry’s website and the Legislation and Opinion Bureau to receive views on it.

He said that the government noted that the economic burden on low-, middle- and high-income classes is almost the same, “which is unfair”, adding that 90 per cent of subscribers of the Social Security Corporation will not be affected by the bill.

The premier expressed his hope to reopen borders with Syria and Iraq soon, so that to contribute to realising economic and trade breakthroughs, and boost Jordanian exports.

He referred to plans to establish a holding company open to investment by the government, citizens, expatriates and local and foreign investment portfolios, with the aim of providing investments in the infrastructure and medium- and big-size projects.

Razzaz highlighted the importance of institutionalising the roles of youth in the economic and political fields, expressing his belief in the role of student councils at schools and universities to serve this end.

The prime minister said that the government believes in and insists on the opinion freedom, warning against following rumours and denying rumours that he had presented his resignation.

Razzaz said that the government has faced several enormous challenges that resulted from protests nationwide, followed by the Syrian refugees stranded on borders, and then the terrorist incidents in Fuheis and Salt, as well as having many unilateral procedures at the international political level to undermine the Palestinian cause.

On such developments, he commented that Jordan has historically been able to turn crises into opportunities and come  out stronger every time.

The premier noted that the economic issues top Jordanians’ list of burdens, especially the high rate of unemployment, rising cost of living, taxes and the decline in the quality of services. 

Razzaz noted that expanding public expenditure in the past decade contributed to increasing debts, and that economic woes were deepened with the global financial crisis in 2008, along with the disruption of the Egyptian gas flow which cost the Kingdom some JD5 billion since 2011, as well as the so called “Arab Spring”.

These external factors have cost Jordan some $17 billion, the prime minister told his audience. 

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