Jordan Parliament house panel approves budget law
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 17 /Trend/
The Lower House Economic and Financial Committee of Jordan Parliament on Wednesday approved the new version of the 2011 state budget draft law presented to the House earlier this month, the Jordan Times reported.
During yesterday's Parliament session, the committee's rapporteur, MP Anwar Ajarmeh (Amman, 7th District), gave a detailed presentation on the panel's notes and recommendations on the 2011 state budget draft law, saying that these recommendations were a result of a thorough examination of the law and a series of meetings with representatives of the public and private sectors on the government fiscal forecasts for 2011 and its plans to address the financial woes.
Ajarmeh noted that successive governments failed to address the economic and financial difficulties facing the country and came up with state budget laws that "have been always signalled out with deficits" and led to an accumulated increase in public debt.
He added that these budget laws were unable to lower the levels of poverty and unemployment and provided no solutions for low productivity.
"Jordanian governments have not exerted enough efforts to avert the consequences left by the world financial crisis on the national economy which contributed immensely to decreasing exports and the value of public revenues," he said.
"Based on these considerations, the government is required to provide the House every three months with reports on the financial and economic situation in the country that detail the progress achieved in the seven-phase action plan which was adopted by the previous government and has been approved by the present Cabinet," he explained.
Ajarmeh explained that one major cause of the economic woes is the "wrong administrative decisions" which have been taken by officials to serve their personal interests, adding that combating "administrative corruption" should be the "headline of the next stage" to support the political and economic reform.
Presenting a set of procedures proposed by the committee, which the government should consider while addressing the economic difficulties facing Jordan, Ajarmeh said the authorities enact laws that regulate the relationship between the public and private sectors and deals signed between the two sides.
In addition, he pointed out that the government should establish a "central unit" at the Prime Ministry tasked with conducting feasibility studies for strategic projects.
Listing the committee's recommendations on the 2011 state budget, Ajarmeh noted that the government should work on reducing deficit in state budget by 3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) within the coming five years, a request Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour pledged to accomplish when he presented the draft budget law to the lawmakers, saying that the government is committed to cutting the deficit ratio of the GDP to 3 per cent by the end of 2013.
Combating all forms of corruption, merging public independent agencies performing similar missions and empowering the conduct of the Anti-Corruption Commission were among the major recommendations of the committee.
Addressing the House, Ajarmeh said that the committee decided to approve the 2011 state budget draft law, calling on MPs to adopt the recommendations.
Lawmakers will begin their deliberations over the 2011 state budget draft law on Saturday and vote on the budget is expected to be conducted on Monday as the Parliament's ordinary session will end on March 28.