Prime Minister Hani Mulki said Wednesday that his government is committed to enabling the private sector to have a larger stake in overall economic activity and boosting its competitiveness locally and abroad.
Since its formation, the government has been working to broaden the public-private sectors partnership (PPP) to carry out public services projects valued at more than JOD200 million, the prime minister told a meeting with representatives of the private sector, businessmen, development zones companies and investors.
In the meeting, the prime minister noted that the government began last year to implement an economic reform program aimed at stimulating economic growth and reforming public finance.
He pointed out that the Kingdom’s economy has been adversely affected over the past years by several external factors, including the global financial crisis, regional turmoil, border closures, the interruption of the Egyptian gas supply and the Syrian refugee crisis.
The national economy grew by about 5.6 per cent between the years 2000 to 2009, but as a result of these factors, economic growth retreated between 2009 and 2016 to about 2.5 per cent, the premier said.
He noted that the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio rose from about 61 per cent in 2010 to 95.1 per cent in 2016, with an annual increase of about 4.8 per cent. Measures initiated by the government contributed to stabilizing the indebtedness to the GDP, He added.
Rising debt-to-GDP ratio and low growth rates call for applying a fiscal reform program and pursuing self-reliance as a strategic objective, Mulki said.
The prime minister criticized “ill-conceived” tax exemptions granted to some sectors without having any desirable impact whether prices cuts or higher growth.
He underlined the government’s commitment to “supporting the citizen and not the commodity”, saying a non-Jordanian third of the Kingdom’s population benefits from blanket subsidies. Mulki said his government has started to think up a mechanism to channel subsidy to eligible Jordanians.
The prime minister briefed the meeting on his government’s steps and measures, related to reforming the income tax law, the public sector and employment.
The meeting’s attendees shared their views on stimulating the economy and raising growth, and briefed the premier on challenges and needs to improve the investment environment.
– Jordan News Agency