Jordan parliament endorses state budget for 2017

Deficit surpass 1.2 bln also due to refugees influx

19 January, 19:57

    (ANSAmed) - AMMAN, JANUARY 19 - Jordan parliament on Thursday endorsed the government budget for 2017 despite unpopular government decisions to raise fuel prices and impose taxes to generate revenues.

    The pro-regime parliament voted with overwhelming majority to pass the budget following three days of ceremonial debate about government spending and rising level of poverty in the kingdom.

    According to official figures budget deficit for the current fiscal year will reach $1.2 billion, or 2.8 per cent of the GDP.

    A rising foreign debt to the World Bank and IMF has lead the government to impose price hikes on a variety of goods and services. The government plans to collect JD3 billion, $4.5 billion in the coming years, including JD450 million ($643) in 2017, JD520 million next year and JD570 million ($800 million) in 2019.

    Economists and government critics say bloated capital expenditure in the public sector, corruption and lack of clear economic visions have compounded to worsen situation of the kingdom's economy.

    Jordan heavily depends on foreign aid to maintain a healthy balance sheet, but an influx of refugees and declining foreign investment have lead to drop in state revenues. (ANSAmed)
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