Thursday 13th of December 2018 |
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Economic reforms should guarantee protection of low-income segment


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday voiced appreciation for the “sincere efforts” exerted by the parliamentary committees during 2017, a Royal Court statement said.
At a meeting with Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh and the presidents of House committees at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty stressed that the essential economic reforms being implemented must take into consideration protecting the low-income Jordanians and empowering the middle class.
Despite the economic challenges facing Jordan, the King said, there are reasons for optimism, stressing the importance of tackling the public debt with focusing on economic growth.
"We should not deceive ourselves and work hard with a different approach for 2018,” said His Majesty, adding that he is optimistic as Jordan has the capability to advance its development process.
He noted that the major challenge facing Jordan is economy, poverty and unemployment, as well as the need to protect the middle-and low-income segments, noting that the Lower House will now have various priority pieces of legislation such as the Income Tax Law that will address tax evasion.
During the meeting, the King stressed that all institutions must carry out their responsibilities and start preparing programmes and strategies to stimulate economic growth and develop human resources. 
“Any given official must be strong enough to take decisions that he is confident of,” the King added.
He highlighted the importance of reforming the public sector’s institutions alongside the reforms being implemented by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and the security bodies.
The King urged all officials, senators and deputies to lend a hand in implementing the 2018 reform programme.
King Abdullah said that he has presented many discussion papers to Jordanians, however, he did not see serious application of them by concerned institutions.
The papers include ideas that have to be applied on the ground, His Majesty stressed.
He underscored the importance of the rule of law, expressing his rejection of interfering in the work of judges by officials or lawmakers.
King Abdullah said that “it is not right to respect the law outside and attempt to breach it inside Jordan”.  
On Jerusalem, His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s constant stance towards the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem.
He stressed that no position or decision will change the historic and legal rights of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem.
The King said that Jordan will be in contact with the US administration to avoid affecting Jordan’s interests.
He said that coordination with Arab countries is continuous to reach stances that help overcome challenges.
On the Syrian crisis, the King noted that the tripartite deal between Jordan, the US and Russia on a ceasefire and creating a de-escalation zone in the south of Syria will contribute to a political solution and protecting the Jordanian interests.
The Monarch stressed that Jordan supports all initiatives that would lead to a solution with Geneva path with ensuring the unity of Syria.
For his part, Tarawneh said that the Lower House has passed 14 laws including the general budget law, stressing the importance of a package of laws related to the economic reform that has been endorsed by MPs.
During the meeting, the committees’ presidents outlined their achievements and the laws enacted. 
They highlighted the importance of fighting tax evasion and corruption and reforming the public sector, empowering women and youth and intensifying the investment attraction efforts.
The MPs praised His Majesty’s role as the Custodian of the holy places of Jerusalem, in defending the rights of Palestinians and protecting the holy city.  

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