Gov't, lawmakers discuss state budget priorities | Jordan News | Ammon News

Gov't, lawmakers discuss state budget priorities

[11/14/2019 9:19:23 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said on Thursday that removing the current "distortions" in the public sector to positively impact wages, integrating institutions with similar functions, addressing tax evasion and reducing the sales tax are key priorities of the legislature in the state budget next year.

In a joint press conference with Prime Minister Omar Razzaz after their meeting, which was attended by heads of parliamentary committees and ministers, Tarawneh pledged to forge a real partnership on the state budget's priorities and options if the government adopts the legislature's recommendations.

He said the lawmakers would reject any new taxes on the citizens.

The House chief said capital expenditures should be geared to the most important sectors of health and education, strengthening a partnership with the private sector, stimulating economic growth, addressing the challenges of the energy sector and revisiting institutional privileges, such as mining rights.

He reiterated the legislature's keenness to carry out the royal directives on integration, cooperation and coordination with the executive authority as stipulated by the constitution.

Razzaz announced measures that will be taken soon and reflect directly on the citizens, including a thorough review of wages linking pay to performance and addressing the imbalances in the public sector, through dialogue with professional associations and the Civil Service Bureau.

However, he said, it cannot be fixed overnight, but pledged "we are keen to ensure fairness."

The premier said that the decisions on the budget are tough with the government weighing its alternatives on spending as it seeks to achieve growth stimulation, employment and quality services to the public. He pledged continuing dialogue with the lawmakers on budgetary priorities.

He also said the government will address companies and government entities that "only exist on paper" and are without economic impact, ensure fairness with regard to the tax burden and rely on a partnership with the private sector in capital expenditure, "in a manner that reflects positively on the nature of services provided to citizens."

Earlier this month, the House Speaker and the Prime Minister agreed to form a joint Government-House committee, comprising heads of parliamentary committees and ministers, to offer proposals before the government submits the draft budget to the legislature.

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