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Lawmakers call for investigation into RJ’s imbalances, losses

By Raed Omari - Mar 24,2019 - Last updated at Mar 24,2019

The Lower House’s Public Services and Transport Committee on Sunday recommended that a new board of directors be appointed to run Royal Jordanian citing its ‘present and past imbalances’ (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

AMMAN — MPs on Sunday requested that a parliamentary committee’s report on Royal Jordanian (RJ) be referred to the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC).

In its final report on RJ, the House’s Public Services and Transport Committee recommended that a new board of directors be appointed to run the national carrier, citing the current board’s “inability to solve the company’s present and past imbalances”.

The House is scheduled to continue its deliberations over the report on Tuesday.

The committee also recommended the termination of services of RJ President and CEO Stefan Pichler and the appointment of an experienced Jordanian capable of enhancing the company’s competitiveness. 

The committee called on the government to grant “reasonable” exemptions to RJ, citing the national carrier’s operation of 45 per cent of services at Queen Alia International Airport.

Lawmakers raised questions on the reasons behind RJ’s accumulated losses and about the national carrier turning into a burden on the government.

The House has recently referred a case involving the government’s attempt to buy former Lebanese prime minister Najib Miqati’s shares in RJ to the JIACC.

The House’s decision was made after MP Abdul Karim Dughmi asked a question on why the government bought Miqati’s RJ shares at a higher price than the rate listed in the financial market, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The MP requested referring the issue to the JIACC, to check on the deal’s procedures and its impact on the Treasury.

In February, the government posted a clarification on the “Haggak Tiraf” (in English “your right to know”) online platform, saying that a five-week investigation by the JIACC found that the procedures applied in the restructuring of RJ by the government of former prime minister Abdullah Ensour were “all sound”.

The government said that news circulated on social media, claiming that the JIACC found that Ensour had transferred JD200 million of “the people’s money” to support the shares of his friend, Miqati, were “just rumours”.

The government said that Prime Minister Omar Razzaz received the JIAAC’s report on January 27, and referred to the Lower House.

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