Al-Khasawneh announces end of Friday lockdown

[13-01-2021 05:53 PM]

Ammon News -

Prime Minister, Bisher Khasawneh, announced school in-person learning will be resumed countrywide, starting as of the second semester, blanket curfew will be lifted effective next Friday, and sectors will be reopened "diligently" to protect citizen health.

In response to the lawmakers' remarks on the government policy statement, the premier said distance education will remain part of the educational process, voicing the government's openness to the MPs' proposals to improve the Kingdom's educational process.

In this context, Khasawneh affirmed the government's " relentless" efforts to develop programs and plans aimed at improving the educational environment and continuing to develop school curricula.

Addressing the Lower House of Parliament, Khasawneh said the government will not impose new taxes during 2021, and will not lend to finance current expenditures.

To invest in the farming sector, he said the gov't will work to implement an agricultural project to invest arable lands, and provide an incentive package to help farmers, focusing on product marketing, employment and production inputs, indicating that the MPs' demands will be studied according to the available resources.

The gov't decision to reopen sectors will be according to a "gradual and secure" mechanism, which is in line with the epidemiolocal developments and adherence of citizens and businesses, Khasawneh told the MPs.

Highlighting the gov't measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, he said related decsions have worked to expand the health system's capabilities, and led to curbing the virus spread and kept the epidemiological situation under control.

Khasawneh said the government is keen on preserving financial and fiscal stability; so, it has been stimulating the economy and fighting corruption and tax and customs duty evasion. He emphasized his cabinet has not resorted to imposing more fees or taxes when drafting the 2021 public budget.

The government has also been developing the legislative mechanism to stop squandering public money and oversee the process of collecting taxes and customs duty revenue, as well as improving the services provided for investors and citizens and plug loopholes of tax evasion.

He highlighted that the government will strengthen Jordanian exports by striking trade deals with international markets, adding that both pharmaceutical and foodstuff industries will continue to develop and have the attention of his cabinet.

The Premier also said that the strategic stockpile of staples will be supported, as prices will be regulated and monopoly fought.

He said that tourism sits at the top of the government's priority list until it recovers from the damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications. Khasawneh highlighted that the state will continue supporting people who have lost their jobs until tourism has fully recovered.

On energy, he said that the government is keen on implementing the Energy Sector Strategy 2020-2030 to cut back energy costs on industries and to increase the renewable energy share in the overall energy system in the Kingdom from 18 percent to 32 percent by 2030.

He also said the Kingdom is drilling for gas in the Risha Gas Plant in northeastern Jordan.

On farmers and agriculture, he said that farmers' first JOD million sales are income tax-exempt and JOD50,000 profits are tax-exempt.

Also, Khasawneh said supporting the Armed Forces, security personnel and veterans will keep apace, and the government will support it in every way possible, adding that the government has approved several regulations to improve their living conditions.

On the Palestinian issue, he reiterated that the Palestinian cause is the Kingdom's "central cause," highlighting that His Majesty King Abdullah II is leading an effective strategy to protect the country's national interests and serve the Arab and Muslim interests, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause.

He emphasized that there will be no peace and regional stability unless the Palestinian demands have been met, and a Palestinian state is established on the June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital state according to the international law and legitimacy.

On Arab cooperation, he said that Jordan cooperates with the Arab countries to promote and safeguard the Arab interests and end external meddling in Arab affairs. Khasawneh welcomed the reconciliations between the Gulf Cooperation (GCC) member states.

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