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IMF team in Jordan to review progress in ‘correction plan’

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 23,2018 - Last updated at May 23,2018

AMMAN — A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in Jordan to conduct the second review of the country’s economic “correction” programme as part of a $700 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the Kingdom, Minister of Finance Omar Malhas said on Tuesday.

“The delegation from the IMF started the current visit to Jordan since the start of this week and their mission to the Kingdom will continue until the end of this month,” the minister told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

During the visit, the IMF delegation will hold a series of meetings with officials at the Finance Ministry, the Central Bank of Jordan and other concerned authorities.

“The IMF mission is currently collecting data and information,” Malhas said.

After the completion of the second economic review, Jordan is expected to receive $175 million, which is the second tranche of the programme, according to the ministry.

Last month, a government delegation headed to the US for discussions with the IMF on the second economic review and to examine progress made under the programme and how to proceed with the reform scheme.

A delegation from the fund conducted the first review of Jordan’s economy in November 2016, after the 36-month EFF programme was approved three months earlier.

The government had then announced a set of immediate fiscal measures to raise revenues and cut spending, starting January 2017.

Just a day before, the Cabinet endorsed a bill to expand taxpayer base and make addition JD300 million revenues from the income tax.

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

Overall public debt in Jordan reached JD27.690 billion at the end of March, accounting for 95.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), compared with JD27.269 billion, or 95.3 per cent of the GDP, at the end of 2017, according to the latest monthly report by the Finance Ministry posted on its website.

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

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