Gov't launches administrative reform package | Business | Ammon News

Gov't launches administrative reform package

[11/18/2019 1:54:37 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Government launched on Monday a second stimulus package focusing on administrative reform almost three weeks after the rollout of a wide-scale economic package designed to propel growth and rejuvenate the business ecosystem.

Launching the package, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz announced that his government will cancel and merge 8 independent government institutions to eliminate administrative slack, duplication and overlapping of mandates in the government sector.

The prime minister said his government will, next month, take a set of measures to bring all government stakeholders in the transport domain under the umbrella of a single entity. This will include the Land Transport Regulatory Authority, the Jordan Maritime Authority, and the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission.

Other independent government entities that will be spared from the cancellation and merger drive because of their importance will be subject to a rigorous review of the number of commissioners and directors they have as well as robust control over administrative and logistical spending, the prime minister pledged.

Regarding the energy sector, Razzaz pointed out that the government will merge all the regulators of the energy sector, including the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission, and the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission in a single body.

Under today's package, the Jordan Meteorological Department will be placed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Transport while the Jordan Tourism & Spa Complex Company and the Jordan Real Estate Company, both owned by the government, will be cancelled. The same will happen to the Hedjaz Jordan Railway which will maintain its "endowment" status, the prime minister said.

Razzaz also announced that his government is cancelling the Water Authority of Jordan and reassigning its mandate to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, after finding that the authority is not a regulator of many actors in the public and private sectors.

With regard to the Securities Depository Center, the prime minister said his government's audit of the center found out that its mandate is overarching and therefore can not be cancelled. However, Razzaz noted, the government decided to entrust the center's oversight role with the Jordan Securities Commission while its executive function will be taken over by the Amman Stock Exchange Company.

The second theme of the administrative reform package is the new Government Procurement Bylaw. In this context, Razzaz said his government had merged the General Supplies Department with the Joint Procurement Department in a single unit now called the Government Procurement Department.

He stressed that government tenders will be submitted with each other for all institutions, including independent departments and authorities, noting that the tenders will be floated in full transparency using the same mechanism through a dedicated online platform.

He pointed out that these new bidding procedures would significantly reduce purchases costs and slash complaints resulting from manual bidding.

The third theme of today's package is related to the elimination of redundant administrative processes and red tape distortions. In this context, the prime minister said his government had forwarded to the parliament a total of 175 amended legislation, including 51 laws, to reassign routine powers from the Cabinet to the competent ministers, and from ministers to secretaries-general and directors.

Among the highlights of today's package is a major reduction of the tax levied on Battery Electric Vehicles (EVs). Under the package, the tax on EVs under 250 kW will go down from 25 percent to 10 percent while the tax on +250 kW EVs will be reduced to 15 percent from 25 percent. Furthermore, a weight tax levied on new vehicles will be scrapped and replaced by a 4 percent flat tax.

On the tourism and investment domain, visitors from restricted nationalities, will be given an upon-arrival visa provided that they carry residency permits or entry visas from and to the US, EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore. The decision also includes the residents of GCC countries.

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