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King urges bolstering exports, controlling government expenditure to ease pressure on economy


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday stressed the need to develop plans to bolster exports, ease the burden on the economy, control government expenditure and capitalise on opportunities available during the ongoing exceptional circumstances around the world.
Chairing a National Policies Council (NPC) meeting attended by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, King Abdullah emphasised the importance of clarifying media messages and instructions regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related to closures to the public to prevent violations, according to a Royal Court statement.
During the meeting, attended by HRH Prince Feisal, adviser to His Majesty and NPC chairperson, His Majesty noted the need to designate three sites in Jordan’s northern, central and southern regions to be equipped as sites suitable for large gatherings in cases of crises or natural disasters.
The King also reviewed measures implemented at the borders to control movement and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the statement said.
Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said the government, in coordination with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies, intends to open up movement between adjacent governorates that do not record any COVID-19 cases in the span of two weeks after the Eid Al Fitr holiday.
Razzaz expected southern governorates to be the first to open up to each other, followed by other governorates, depending on the developments of the epidemiological situation and taking into account adherence to public health and safety standards.
The prime minister noted work under way to prepare areas in the southern region to be used as quarantine zones for citizens crossing into Jordan from the southern border, with a capacity that exceeds 8,000 people.
Razzaz said the government decided a few weeks ago to disburse monthly bonuses for health personnel to reward their tireless work and exceptional efforts, commending their performance during the COVID-19 crisis to safeguard public health and wellbeing, according to the statement.
He noted that addressing the pandemic requires balancing public health with the economic value of resuming operations in various sectors to mitigate the crisis’ economic and social impacts.
Based on Royal directives to bolster the health and agriculture sectors and ensure the continuity and sustainability of production, he said that the government formed three committees dedicated to manufacturing medical supplies and devices, food processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The three committees will work to support local industries and products, the prime minister added.
Also during the meeting, His Majesty was briefed by officials on the measures taken to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.

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