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Debts of over 1,000 women paid off since King’s call-in

Awqaf Ministry says 5,672 women expected to benefit from campaign

By JT - Mar 24,2019 - Last updated at Mar 24,2019

Awqaf Minister Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal said that after His Majesty King Abdullah’s television call-in on Friday. The debts of 1,088 gharimat (indebted women) have been paid off (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The debts of 1,088 gharimat (indebted women) have been paid, Awqaf Minister Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal said on Sunday.

His Majesty King Abdullah, in a call-in with Jordan Television’s “Yise’d Sabahak” on Friday, offered his best wishes to the Jordanian people on the occasions of Mother’s Day and the anniversary of the Battle of Karamah.

King Abdullah saluted Jordanian mothers on the occasion of Mother’s Day, calling for a national effort to support gharimat — indebted Jordanian women — who are unable to pay back loans they had taken out to support their families.

The King said Jordan is a country of solidarity, and that “we must all stand with our daughters and sisters”.

Abul Bassal said the women represent the first batch of those expected to benefit from the campaign, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The financial payments will be sent to the Judicial Execution Directorate, so as to finalise the payments in the coming days, the minister said.

A total of 5,672 women, whose debts are less than JD1,000, are expected to benefit from the initiative, he added.

Abul Bassal added that JD2.5 million was collected during the campaign, according to Petra.

In accordance with King Abdullah’s directives, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz chaired a meeting on Saturday attended by Deputy Prime Minister Rajai Muasher, Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Governor Ziad Fariz and a number of ministers and stakeholders, to tackle the debts.

The gharimat issue involves several stakeholders, including unsupervised finance companies, shops and deferred-payment sales companies, the participants in the meeting said.

They said that, while the number of gharimat in prisons and rehabilitation centres was reported to be very low, many women were being pursued by the law for not paying their debts, with some being legally charged and their cases reaching the judicial execution phase.

During the meeting, Razzaz said that all financial companies would be subject to CBJ supervision to prevent excessive interest rate hikes and profits on loans. The prime minister also suggested amendments to pieces of legislation which govern loans, to protect people from drowning in debt.

The discussions covered the importance of validating the financial solvency of borrowers and evaluating their ability to repay debts, whereby loan repayments must not exceed 30 per cent of the borrower’s income. 

Talks also touched on the need to focus on and finance income-generating projects.

Razzaz noted the importance of creating repayment schedules in accordance with the capabilities of borrowers, as well as improving women’s access to financial services.

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