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Ethically responsible, transparent economic approach need of the hour — experts

By Maria Weldali - Jan 13,2021 - Last updated at Jan 13,2021

AMMAN — Straightforward, ethically responsible and transparent economic approach is needed to mount the response against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts.

“What is needed is an unvarnished truth. There is a lack of clarity and transparency, leaving the citizens fall into the state of insecurity,” sociologist Hussein Khozahe told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Private sector engagement is “essential to the success of the pandemic response plans in the Kingdom”, and the government needs to do more to support the private sector, aiming at accomplishing a “fair balance”, and making a marked impact on the social and economic challenges in Jordan, Khozahe said.

“Around 60 per cent of individuals in Jordan work in the private sector, of which 85 per cent are employees,” he added.

The private sector plays a major role not just in supporting economic growth, but also in safeguarding the social well-being, as well as, the human capital, Khozahe said.

He added that since the outbreak of the pandemic, 140,000 jobs were lost and 250,000 individuals have been affected.

Khozahe said that supporting the private sector would foster a conducive environment, which leads to social progress and economic growth.

“What is more important is to produce social gain and not financial profit,” he said, noting that the pandemic has highlighted people’s mutual dependence and has put the private sector “under test for its commitment to ethical responsibility”.

Economist Mazen Marji told The Jordan Times that economy must not thrive, by making the rich richer and the poor poorer, adding that the “government bears the responsibility to respond fairly to the aspirations and needs of all citizens”.

Regarding ethics in economic actions, Marji noted that those moral controls are achieved through “protecting citizens’ rights, promoting a more effective antitrust enforcement policies, preventing exploitation and regulating markets”.

“Clear communication of the guidelines is needed, because there is a lack of trust between most societies and their governments,” Marji noted.

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