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2nd incentive package to bring administrative reform


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The government on Monday announced the second of four executive packages to improve the national economy, focusing on managerial shortcomings and administrative sloppiness. 
During an event held at the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that the main goal is to have the government, Parliament and private sector work together to analyse problems and address them through practical solutions that the government can commit to.
His Majesty King Abdullah, in his recent speech at Parliament, voiced optimism towards the country's economy, the premier said, adding that the government is also confident, based on the ground realities. 
The first bundle discussed a few weeks ago focused on stimulating the economy and investment, Razzaz said, noting that initial results in the real-estate sector have shown progress, as this sector is directly related to 40 others. 
In the real estate sector, the prime minister said that the government compared sales between October 21 and November 11 in 2018 and 2019, which increased 93 per cent to 3,398 estates from 1,760. 
"We met with the real estate representatives to discuss what was achieved and what hindrances remain, and the feedback showed that there are still issues regarding funding for new families," Razzaz said.
He added that afterwards, the government contacted the governor of the Central Bank of Jordan and agreed a guarantee on loans, which would be provided by the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corp, standing at a value of JD100 million, and focusing on new families that wish to own a small apartment.
This guarantee will reduce risks and lower the interest rate for families, the premier said, adding that the government will continue to work on the sector until it resolves all of its problems. 
As for the transport sector, the prime minister said that the government reconsidered certain taxes and fees for gasoline, hybrid and electric vehicles, noting that the sustainable long-term solution lies in the public transport network. 
In terms of the tourism sector, the premier said that according to sector representatives their biggest challenge is the issue of visas, especially for restricted nationalities. This is why the government took measures to simplify visa issuance for all nationalities, whether online or in person.
He noted that it would be made much easier specifically for tourists who have visas to other countries, such as the Gulf or Europe, which proves that they do not “pose a threat” if they enter the Kingdom. 
Regarding managerial and administrative shortcomings, Razzaz said that eight institutions have been either merged with other entities or cancelled altogether, and ministries have a month to organise the changes.
The institutions include the Jordan Meteorological Department, which has been merged into the Ministry of Transport as one of its directorates, the Water Authority of Jordan into the Water Ministry, and finally, the Securities Depository Centre has been suspended with its tasks relayed to the Jordan Securities Commission and the Amman Bourse. 
The second aspect of the comprehensive plan will also mitigate spending, especially management-wise, the premier said, noting that a new unified purchasing system has also been issued, replacing 56 government purchasing systems, which will cover all authorities and departments, providing “full transparency” online. 
The third and final issue that the second bundle addressed is the time taken to process applications and the people involved in approving them, which led the government to send 175 pieces of legislation to the Lower House for reconsideration, to increase quality administration and remove hindrances. 
The premier concluded that this is the “gist of only one step in the right direction.”

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