AMMONNEWS - Several administrative, social and economic reform measures endorsed by the government recently went into effect on Sunday after they were published in the Official Gazette.
The decisions include a by-law amending the by-law of customs service allowances on imported commodities that used to be exempted from customs fees, a by-law amending fees of issuing work permits for non-Jordanian workers, and a by-law amending the by-law of the special tax, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The measures came as the government seeks to secure JD450 million, as part of a plan to narrow the budget deficit, within the context of understandings with the International Monetary Fund.
Other decisions that went into effect include amending customs fees, raising the minimum wage limit for Jordanians from JD190 to JD220.
The by-law amending the by-law of customs service allowances on imported commodities stipulates adding 5 per cent to the duties on imported commodities, provided that the total value is no less than JD100 and no more than JD10,000.
Goods whose value is less than JD1,000 and are imported by individuals who do not have an importer card are excluded from the raise.
As for work permits for non-Jordanian workers, the amended regulation sets JD400 as fees for issuing work permits or renewing them for one year or any period of a year.
Changes to the special tax regulations include adding a special tax on each cigarette pack that contains 20 cigarettes, with a value that ranges between JD0.05 and JD0.10.
A special tax of 26 per cent, up from 24 per cent, will be added on pre-paid and post-paid subscriptions of mobile phones and walkie-talkie devices, in addition to imposing JD2.6 tax on the purchase of new mobile SIM cards — pre-paid or post-paid.
Amending customs fees saw a hike of fees on many commodities, excluding main foods.
The government pledged not to raise the prices of 70 per cent of such basic food items.
The decision included exempting several food items that used to have 10 to 20 per cent tax, and now they became tax-free, Petra added.
The Council of Ministers scrapped a previous decision to reduce the sales tax on steel poles used in construction to 8 per cent.
The Cabinet restored the tax rate to 16 per cent and also scrapped sales tax reductions on steel plates and galvanised iron coil.
Prices of fixed and mobile Internet services will see a tax raise to 16 per cent, from 8 per cent.
The Sunday issue of the Official Gazette also included a decision to cancel all previous Cabinet decisions approving the reduction of the general sales tax from 16 to 4 per cent.
The decision excludes the Cabinet decision Number 407 for 2008 that grants tax exemptions and reductions for those who replace their old vehicles with new ones, and excludes a programme that includes replacing public transport busses and medium-size vehicles that operate on highways and internal roads in the Kingdom.