Finance minister delivers draft budget law speech to Parliament

[04-12-2018 03:25 PM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - The minister said despite 6.3 percent higher revenues in 2018, they fall below expectations due to various factors, notably a modest economic growth. Also, there was an increase of 6.5 percent in expenditures from the previous year as a result of running expenses recorded at 8 percent, and a 3.8 decline in capital expenditures from the 2017 level.

As a result, deficit is likely to amount to 2.7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with 2.6 in 2017, resulting in JD28.4 billion in gross public debt, or about 94.5 of GDP.

During the Jan-Sept period, national exports climbed 3 percent and imports declined 0.3 percent, while the current account deficit of balance of payments was down by 10.4 percent of GDP.

Kanakrieh, further, said that the 2019 general budget and the budgets of independent government units took into account the following points:

- Implement priorities of the national comprehensive revival project, through which the government aims to utilize Jordanians capacities.
- Activate capital development projects through budgetary allocations in the general budget and the budgets of the government units, and amend the partnership legislation between the public and private sectors.
- Expand the social security network to include a larger number of eligible families to achieve social equality.
- Enhance the decentralization approach and address challenges encouraging governorates' councils to enable local communities to identify their needs and priorities.
- Improve the efficiency of tax collection and address tax evasion.
- Promote investment opportunities nationwide through improving the operational levels, alleviate poverty and enhance citizens' standard of living.
- Commit to financial and economic reforms taking into account social dimensions and their impact on citizens.
- Follow-up on the implementation of the e-transform project at state agencies.
- Carry out new programs targeting increased tourism revenues and contributions to GDP.
- Sustain the implementation of national strategies to develop human resources, including vocational education, support innovation and establish technical incubators.
- Review the national energy strategy to continue diversifying energy resources and promoting reliance on domestic resources in the total energy mix to ensure a safe and sustained energy supply.
- Enhance the public transport sector and secure an appropriate atmosphere that meets environmental conservation standards.
- Minimize the loss in the water sector to achieve water security.
- Pay greater attention to domestic industry by encouraging them to use natural gas to reduce factories operational costs.
- pursue the restructuring of ministries and public departments to upgrade their capacities, performance and efficiency and rationalize their expenditures.
- Promote reliance on national resources to cover public spending.
- Implement gulf-funded ventures.
- Incorporate the necessary allocation for the annual pay raise of public servants and retired servicemen, as well as the allocations for the armed forces and security agencies.

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