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Gov’t expects positive IMF mission report

By Mohammad Ghazal - Nov 06,2016 - Last updated at Nov 06,2016

AMMAN — Jordan is expected to receive $70-80 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of this year as part of a $700 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with the IMF, Minister of Finance Omar Malhas said Sunday.

A delegation from the IMF to conduct the first review of Jordan's economy following the programme is scheduled to conclude its first mission this week, the minister told The Jordan Times.

"Based on the discussions and meetings we have had with the IMF mission, we expect the report of the first review of our economy to be satisfactory," said Malhas.

The funds will be deposited at the Central Bank of Jordan, Malhas added.

"Our top priority at this stage is to reduce public debt and go ahead with the reform programme and measures we have previously announced to implement the IMF deal," the minister said.

In July, Jordan signed a letter of intent with the IMF for a $700 million EFF programme that spans 36 months.

In June, the government announced a set of immediate fiscal measures to raise revenues and cut spending this year in line with the IMF deal. 

Under the new deal, the government and the IMF agreed on six conditions that aim at reducing public debt to safe levels and stimulating the economy. 

The IMF requested that the government keep the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio by the end of 2016 the same as the registered value at the end of last year, when the public debt was nearly JD24.9 billion, or 93 per cent of the GDP. 

The IMF also demanded that the government reduce public debt to GDP ratio to 77 per cent by 2021.

In August 2015, Jordan completed a three-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF, involving a nearly $2 billion loan.  

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