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Visiting IMF mission ‘not here for review’ — official

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 20,2017 - Last updated at Sep 20,2017

AMMAN — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is scheduled to conduct the second review of the Jordanian economy in November, Ezzedine Kanakrieh, secretary general of the Ministry of Finance, said Wednesday.

Currently, there is an IMF mission on a visit to Jordan but this is not for the economic review under the $700-million Extended Fund Facility agreement signed with the fund, he added.

Jordan is committed to the fiscal reforms in this regard and will take all measures to ensure that the poor are not affected with any measures, said the official.

Jordan needs to generate JD520 million in additional Treasury revenues in 2018 as part of the reforms stipulated under the programme.

"We are currently studying options. There are no final decisions and measures yet," said the official, who echoed remarks by Prime Minister Hani Mulki at a meeting with industrialists yesterday. 

When asked about possible amendments to Income and Sales Tax Law and any possible slashing of exemptions to individuals and families under the income tax system, the official said: "The government is committed to His Majesty King Abdullah's vision not to affect the low and the limited-income segments".

"No decisions have been made yet in this regard and we are still looking into options, but, in all cases, we will ensure that the poor will be protected against any impact," he added.

The programme was launched in July 2016 after Jordan signed a letter of intent with the IMF and is expected to last for 36 months.

The government had then announced a set of immediate fiscal measures to raise revenues and cut spending in line with the IMF deal, starting January 2017. 

 

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. 

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