Jordan Moves Toward Austerity In 2015

Jordan will streamline its public spending next year, Finance Minister Umayya Tuqan said this week, as he unveiled details of the kingdom’s austerity budget for 2015 to Jordan’s parliament.

Mr Tuqan reiterated Jordan’s commitment to pursue IMF-backed fiscal and economic reforms which are intended to contain the budget deficit and public debt.

Amman plans to boost Jordan’s social safety net, while ensuring that subsidies target needy sectors of society. It will also develop renewable energy to lower the kingdom’s import bill after the loss of Egyptian natural gas (MEES, 17 January).

Non-productive expenditure will be curtailed and public entities will be restructured, coupled with mergers when possible, such as the case of the Natural Resources Authority which has been amalgamated with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Also the government wants to achieve a higher degree of reliance on local resources to fund domestic expenditure, via efficient tax collection, and to maximize the use of development grants from the GCC. (CONTINUED - 744 WORDS)