Parliament, JEF issue recommendations to prop up economy against COVID-19 fallout | Jordan News | Ammon News

Parliament, JEF issue recommendations to prop up economy against COVID-19 fallout

[4/6/2020 11:13:24 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Lower House of Parliament has forwarded to the government a paper including a set of recommendations and proposed measures designed to shield the national economy against the ramifications of the global COVID-19 crisis and current lockdown in the country.

The recommendations, prepared with the Jordan Economic Forum (JEF), call for "bold and exceptional" measures commensurate with the current exceptional conditions to minimize the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

The paper calls for the formation of a national team comprising representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society institutions and universities in order to formulate a plan to stimulate economic growth for the post-coronavirus phase according to specific and actionable time-lines.

The paper lays down a five-pronged post-COVID-19 plan focusing on the following areas: Strengthening the private sector, the social safety and work network; introducing measures for the most affected and vital sectors; starting a gradual return to economic activity; and utilizing opportunities the new situation might have created.

The lawmakers urged banks to immediately defer and reschedule the repayment of finance provided to individual and corporate clients and reduce interests on existing loans by 1.5 percent retroactively from the date the Central Bank of Jordan slashed benchmark rates.

They also called for extending the deadline for filing tax returns to after April 30 and keeping the "differences in fuel prices" category on monthly electricity bills at zero to the end of the current year.

Addressing work stoppage in the private sector, the papers proposes that the salaries of employees in sectors most hit by the crisis, such as tourism and transport, to be paid evenly by the employer and the Social Security Corporation (SSC) (50 percent each) for a three-month period and at a total cap of JD60 million.

On social protection, the lawmakers called on the government to provide cash transfers of JD100 per capita for breadwinners working in unregulated sectors, and who do not receive assistance from the National Aid Fund and are unregistered with the SSC. An estimated 100,000 persons are expected to benefit from this proposal if taken at a total cost of JD20 million.

They further urged the government to increase the National Aid Fund''s appropriations to JD219 million.

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