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Programme in the making to reform energy, transport, finance sectors

Official source says plan aims to remedy structural issues to lower costs

By JT - May 19,2019 - Last updated at May 19,2019

AMMAN — A financial and economic reform programme seeking to remedy structural issues within the energy, transport and finance sectors is expected to be announced soon, an official source said on Saturday. 

The plan aims to mitigate the costs of these sectors on the economy, and citizens by proxy, in addition to stimulating economic growth, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Governmental, parliamentary and private sector representatives will be involved in the discussions and endorsement of the reform plan, the source said. 

The programme will tackle the electricity bill through the review of purchasing prices agreed by the National Electric Power Company and electricity-generating companies, in addition to reforming the transport sector with the aim of lowering the cost of public transportation for citizens.

Costs for the transport of goods are also expected to be tackled through the envisioned programme, in light of the high expense of shipping between the Aqaba Port and other parts of the Kingdom, compared with the cost of maritime transport of imported products from origin countries such as China. 

The programme is also expected to lower loan interests for private sector enterprises of targeted fields, given that the government would cover the difference in interest. 

Meanwhile, the source said that negotiations pertaining to a $1.2-billion World Bank loan agreed earlier this year have reached an “advanced stage”. 

An agreement covering the first part of the loan, at a value of $950 million, will be signed in June, the source noted, while the remaining amount of $250 million will be the issue of another agreement to be signed in
October. 

The source said that the World Bank loan, together with other loans pledged by the UK and Saudi Arabia, would be used to cover the Kingdom’s $1-billion Eurobond payment, due in June, as part of a London initiative agreement.

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