Monday 23rd of September 2019 |
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'Jordan adamant on stance regarding Palestinian state and Jerusalem'


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Sunday reiterated Jordan’s unaltered stances that reject the Israeli occupation of Palestine and support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, along the June 4,1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. 
In a meeting with chief editors and representatives of media outlets, the minister shed light on His Majesty King Abdullah’s participation in the emergency Arab and Islamic summits, held in Mecca last Thursday, during which he reaffirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the Palestinians, the centrality of the Palestinian cause and that of the holy city and the Palestinians’ right to statehood.
She explained that these stances are in line with international law and legislation and in accordance with the Hashemite Custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
Ghunaimat reaffirmed the government’s condemnation of the incessant transgressions against Al Aqsa Mosque, describing the attacks that were carried out against Aqsa cadres on Sunday as “provocative”.
The government will continue to “strongly defend” the UNRWA’s mandate and its role, while also rallying international political and financial support, Ghunaimat said. 
On the domestic front, Ghunaimat revealed that the government is currently looking into ways of improving the efficiency and fairness of the taxation system.
The number of tax evasion cases that have been referred to the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission has increased from 32 in 2018 to 46 so far this year, the minister highlighted. 
According to Ghunaimat, revenue generated as a result of prosecuting tax evasion has increased by 45 per cent during the first five months of 2019, amounting to JD43.8 million, compared with JD30.1 million during the same period of last year.
The minister also referred a new “tobacco factory” case that was exposed on Wednesday, in which a travel ban was imposed on the owner, noting that it is part of efforts that seek to counter tax evasion and a measure to avoid a repeat of the events that took place following the exposure of a similar case last year, after which ringleader Awni Mutee fled the country and had to be extradited. 
The amount of money retrieved as a result of exposing tax evasion has increased by 150 per cent in the recent period, Ghunaimat underscored.
Meanwhile, Ghunaimat indicated that the loan that has been approved by the World Bank will save the Kingdom some $50 million annually, stressing that it will be provided at low interest rates that do not exceed 4 per cent. 
She added that it will be repaid over a period of 35 years with a grace period of up to five years. 
The World Bank’s loan will not exceed the budget’s limit, as it will allow the Kingdom to pay other debts that were given at higher interest rates, the minister added. 
The loan will also contribute to mitigating funding costs and prevent tampering with foreign currency, while leaving the private sector’s financial liquidity “unaffected”, she stressed. 
The minister presented a number of positive economic indicators such as the increased volume of exports by 13.6 per cent and the increase in capital for registered companies by 34 per cent. 
She pointed out that the number of independent institutions increased by 14 per cent during the first quarter of 2019, in comparison with the same period of 2018.

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