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We cannot continue borrowing — Deputy PM

Hassan underlines self-reliance, partnership among stakeholders, reforms as right approach to ‘crisis’

By JT - Apr 28,2018 - Last updated at Apr 28,2018

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Jafar Hassan speaks at a panel discussion organised by Jordan Strategy Forum in Amman on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Jafar Hassan has said that "Jordan cannot continue borrowing and accumulating debts", underlining the need for self-reliance and corrective plans to address challenges.

The remarks came during a panel discussion organised by the Jordan Strategy Forum titled "economic and fiscal policies and their impact on stimulating Jordan's economy", the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported

The public debt service has become very high and more borrowing will add burdens on the general budget during the coming years, which would be at the expense of essential expenditure and development plans, the minister added. 

For his part, Finance Minister Omar Malhas said that the existence of a stable fiscal policy would lead to realising macroeconomic stability, thus accelerating growth.

The government is working with the World Bank to “address the public budget’s deficit”, Malhas added.

Within the financial reform programme, the finance minister noted that the government will establish an investment administration unit that aims to enhance the efficiency of capital expenditure after revisiting capital projects of all ministries.  

In an interview with Jordan Television’s 60 Minutes programme on Friday evening, Hassan stressed that all plans in the ministries and public institutions being  implemented as part of the economic stimulus programme are being followed up periodically and that their transparent implementation represents the cornerstone in efforts to build and sustain public-state trust.

The deputy prime minister said that there’s no option for Jordan other than self-reliance in order to face economic challenges, stressing that the government believes in the importance of partnership with various sectors and is open to all when it comes to plans and programmes, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Hassan added that the government is aware of the challenges faced by citizens because of low levels of growth and lack of suitable employment opportunities, and that the economic team and other government members continue to communicate with citizens in different governorates our economic sectors can overcome the current phase and that our economy is still attractive to new investments in different sectors. 

Hassan stressed that it is impossible to delay action to the crisis as the national economy is going through a critical phase, underlining that the policies and programmes the government has devised will shape our economy in the coming phase and determine the economy’s ability to grow and progress.

He added that the corrective measures in place would contribute to economic and financial stability in the medium and long terms.

On the tax law amendments, he reiterated that they are aimed at preventing tax evasion through tougher measures and more effective collection mechanisms. 

Hassan pointed out that the government’s aim in implementing the reforms is to direct the efforts of all the relevant institutions in the productive sectors towards one aim, which is to enhance the economy’s ability to grow through integrated efforts by all stakeholders.

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