Tuesday 17th of July 2018 Sahafi.jo | Ammanxchange.com
  • Last Update
    06-Jun-2018

King entrusts Razzaz to form new gov’t

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday entrusted Omar Razzaz with forming a new government, succeeding that of Hani Mulki, who resigned on Monday.
 
In the Letter of Designation to Razzaz, His Majesty said that the new government is tasked with leading a revival that harnesses the potential of Jordanians and ensures them quality services, a lean and efficient government system and a social safety system that protects the vulnerable within a fair tax environment.
 
His Majesty set a number of priorities for the government, foremost of which is to address the slow growth of the economy and the resulting decline in employment opportunities, especially among young people. Therefore, the King said, the priority for the government is to unleash and stimulate Jordan's economic potential to restore its potential for growth, competition and job generation.
 
His Majesty cited rising operational costs and red tape as obstacles that hinder the competitiveness of the economy and limit its potential, directing Razzaz and his in-the-making team to seek creative solutions within an action programme and a tight timeframe.
 
The government, the letter said, should immediately launch a dialogue in coordination with the Parliament and with the participation of parties, unions and various civil society institutions to come up with an income tax draft law, which the King described as indispensible and an entry point into an era of growth and justice.
 
Following is the official translation of the Letter of Designation:
 
In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
 
Your Excellency Dr Omar Razzaz,
 
I am pleased to convey to you a greeting imbued with a high sense of pride in Jordanians’ exemplary display of active, responsible citizenship over the past few days and in the dedicated patriotism of security agencies. I am full of hope that Jordan’s united family will overcome the difficulties ahead and advance into a better present and a brighter future.
 
I have known you as a patriotic man of the people, who enjoys a close connection with Jordanian youth, and a visionary who has left a positive mark on every public position you assumed in a number of leading national institutions. You have accumulated deep national and international experience that would, with the help of God and his blessings, aid you in undertaking this immense national responsibility before you.
 
Having accepted the resignation of Dr Hani Mulki’s Cabinet, we entrust you with forming a new government that upholds its tremendous national responsibilities in this critical phase and builds on reform and development efforts.
 
I direct you, as you embark on this mission, to launch a comprehensive national awakening that empowers Jordanians to harness their energies and pursue their dreams; and meets their needs through quality services, fair taxation, an agile, efficient government team, and a social safety net that protects the vulnerable. As you embark on achieving that, the following priorities and pillars will guide you in your duties and outreach to Jordanians:
 
The main challenge standing in the way of young Jordanians, as they pursue their dreams and ambitions, is economic slowdown and the resulting drop in job opportunities. Therefore, your government must give priority to stimulating and unleashing Jordan’s economic capabilities, so that it regains its potential to grow, compete and generate jobs.
 
There are, undoubtedly, key issues impeding our economy’s competitiveness and limiting its potential, foremost of which are rising operational costs and restrictive bureaucratic measures. While addressing these impediments under the current fiscal situation will be extremely challenging, your government must seek creative solutions within a well-plannedprogramme.
 
The government must immediately launch a dialogue, in coordination with Parliament and with the participation of political parties, syndicates, and various civil society institutions to deliverthe income tax law draft, which is a key socioeconomic legislation. formulating the income tax bill is the entry point into a new 
socioeconomic approach, the crux of which must be achieving growth and ensuring justice.
 
As such, the government must undertake a comprehensive review of the tax system and tax burden, with a view to limiting indirect and regressive consumption taxes that do not differentiate between the rich and the poor; and with the aim of delineating the relationship between citizens and the state through a clear social contract that identifies rights and duties.
 
The pressure Jordan is facing must be an incentive to enhance the quality of services, rather than be an excuse for their decline. Imposing taxes and providing quality services go hand in hand. I will not accept anything less than excellent services from our institutions. Our education sector must provide a bright future for our children in a safe learning environment. The healthcare system must respect the dignity of our patients and provide first-rate medical services, of which we have been pioneers. It is unacceptable that our people suffer to reach their universities and places of work due to the absence of proper public transport networks in our governorates. A nation’s progress is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable; therefore, a social safety netmust be provided to support our poor.
 
The government must have administrative reform and enhancing public sector performance as a top priority and a higher national interest. There must be zero tolerance for any underperforming employee or official who impedes investment through bureaucratic measures or slow processing, thus squandering opportunities to generate jobs for our youth and help our economy grow. There should be no hesitation in holding to account officials who do not properly cater to the needs of service recipients at various state institutions, or do not utilise public funds with a sense of responsibility and in good conscience. In the same vein, the government must expedite implementation of the e-government project to enhance the level of service, reduce bureaucracy and control public spending.
 
Over the past years, Jordan has carried a heavy burden that would overwhelm the largest and most powerful of countries.The current difficult economic conditions are the result of accumulating pressures, the majority of which are external due to regional instability. They mainly include the rise in energy costs caused by the disruption of gas supplies from Egypt, the sharp drop in exports as a result of border closures in neighbouring countries dealing with security challenges, and the financial cost of security measures required to safeguard every inch of this homeland.
 
The Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, and all of Jordan’s security agencies continue to prove, time and again, to be the guardians of Jordan’s progress and achievement. They stand tall in the face of all enemies, and they have earned the respect and gratitude of us all. All state institutions are committed to supporting and empowering them to continue their exemplary performance.
 
The government is also required to continue political reform and build on what has been achieved in previous years. A review of legislation governing political life is needed to bolster the role of political parties and enable them to have a more effective presence at the House of Representatives. Governorate and Municipal Councils must also be supported and empowered to uphold their duties for the benefit of citizens across Jordan.
 

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