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The Royal instructions

Jun 06,2018 - Last updated at Jun 06,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah could not be any clearer when, in his letter of designation of the new Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, he outlined the key issues, goals and objectives of the agenda of the new government.

Right at the outset, the King said that the main challenge facing the youth is the slowing economy. The social, economic and political implications of high youth unemployment are too obvious to be ignored. That is why the King wants the new government, first and foremost, to do all that it takes to energise the national economy and render it more dynamic to respond to the challenges facing the people, especially the youth.

The King has also called on the new government to remove all obstacles and impediments facing the national economic growth by, inter alia, combating high operating costs of industries and enterprises. In this vein, no less important is combating the suffocating, cumbersome bureaucracy facing not only local entrepreneurs, but also potential foreign investors.

As for the controversy over the income tax draft law, the King wants a comprehensive review of the entire draft law based on a national dialogue. The King wants to go even further than the income tax law by calling on the government to conduct a broad review of the entire tax system.

In this vein, the King issued a warning to the government to refrain from imposing indirect levies on consumer products. It is no secret that the public has been hit hard over the years by direct and indirect taxes in the form of sales taxation or value added taxes.

The upshot of these reviews, said the King, is to conclude a social contract with citizens that clearly spells out their rights and duties. This new social contract must secure for the people, the King cautioned, a modern public transportation network, something all previous governments talked a lot about, but did very little.

Rationalising state expenditure is a must, the King said, but this issue has also been receiving more talk than action.

And finally, the reform of the entire civil service remains an important goal for the new government.

Obviously, these instructions are not exhaustive. To be sure, Razzaz will encounter other complementary policy issues to deal with as he goes on with carrying out his mandate.

We wish him all the success because his success would be the country's success as well.

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