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‘Inside lag behind economic slowdown’

By JT - Mar 07,2018 - Last updated at Mar 07,2018

AMMAN — A study by the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) has criticised successive governments’ failure to achieve the goals of economic plans and confusion in the implementation process.   

The findings were issued in a policy paper entitled “National Development Programmes between Planning and Implementation”.

In recent years, the study noted, the Kingdom has “overcrowding in strategic plans and visions” that aim to push forward economic growth, ending internal and external imbalances and achieving overall stability in a region that has been plagued by political and military turmoil.

Since 2014, successive governments have prepared several development plans, such as the “Jordan 2025”, which resulted in several executive and development programmes, in addition to the investment plans of the Gulf grant approved in 2011, as well as the Jordan Compact programme to support the host communities of Syrian refugees.

The slowdown in economic growth rates is attributed by reports to a low international demand and political crises in many of the region’s countries without paying attention to the economic and legislative policies of successive governments, especially the “weakness in the legislative and institutional framework that ensued from the government’s slackening of institutional enhancement and the reform of legislative frameworks, which governs economic life, especially after the Kingdom’s implementation of several economic correction plans under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.

After a “precise” revision of those plans, the CSS said, it was concluded that there has been no serious commitment to implement the projects on time. Instead, governments have delayed or moved them to other plans. 

Many of the proposed policies and measures in the Jordan 2025 are not new as they were part of previous plans and strategies, the study noted. 

The government has continued to rely on foreign aid over the past years and to tax hikes without reducing the public budget’s deficit, which, the study authors said, led to increasing prices of commodities and services without an increase to incomes, a matter which has contributed to a slowdown and pushed inflation up to 3.32 per cent last year, when it was expected to stand at 2.4 per cent.

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