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Minister proposes solutions for debt issues, updates press on gov’t endeavours

Indebted women, student loans among gov’t top priorities — Ghunaimat

By JT - Jan 10,2019 - Last updated at Jan 10,2019

The minister of state for media affairs and government spokesperson addresses a press conference at the Prime Ministry, on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Thursday said that the government is closely monitoring the issues of gharimat (indebted women) and student loans from the student support fund, as well as the general pardon.

Ghunaimat confirmed that an amount of JD500,000 had been allocated to resolve part of the indebted women problem, and a new payment will be provided this month, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

She pointed out that certain standards had been adopted to deal with this issue. Financially vulnerable indebted women are given priority in this case, the minister explained, along with those serving time in jail and then those who have been sentenced but not yet imprisoned.

On the issue of the support fund for defaulted students, she pointed out that the government has formulated a plan to resolve this problem.

The support fund’s system is to be revisited so that repayment does not begin until the students are employed, instead of after a set period of time during which students may not have been able to find jobs.

Commenting on the prime minister's visit to Washington, she said that the key issues tackled in the meetings included investment in Jordan, reforms and the matrix of legislative measures adopted by Jordan to improve the investment environment.

The premier’s visit was also a prelude to the London conference, she underlined, which will be held at the end of this February and attended by the representatives of seven major countries, on the theme of investment in Jordan.

Furthermore, she stressed that the premier's visit to the US is parallel in terms of its objectives to the previous visits he made to Iraq and Turkey. 

She added that an economic summit to be held in Lebanon in a few days also aims at achieving the same objective, which is to create economic ties with neighbouring countries and the community supporting Jordan in the US and Europe, as well as focusing on investment and improving the economic environment.

On the general pardon, the minister indicated that the government, when drafting the bill, was keen to achieve a balance between the pardon and safeguarding the rights of others and the rule of law. 

The number of people covered by the pardon, according to the government's formula that was sent to the Lower House, was about 8,000, which is a large figure, she underlined.

She added that the draft law is currently at the Lower House, which is conducting extensive dialogues on it to reach a final formula.

Commenting on the relationship with Syria, the minister confirmed that Jordan is open to relations with Syria, as the borders have been reopened and the movement of passengers and goods was under way.

She also highlighted that there are ongoing Jordanian efforts to attain a political solution in Syria and ensure the return of Syria's regional role, and such an endeavour requires the effort of the countries concerned with the Syrian case.

She also pointed out that the Jordanian Embassy in Damascus is functional and its personnel are working to meet the needs of Syrians and Jordanians in Syria.

On the phosphate case, and its primary suspect, Walid Kurdi, she said that the government is seeking to bring him in through diplomatic and legal channels, in accordance to the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah to break the backbone of corruption.

Responding to a question, the minister stressed that the relations between Amman and Baghdad are excellent, pointing to the mutual desire shown by the Jordanian and Iraqi sides to deepen relations during the premier's recent visit to Baghdad.

She also pointed out that all the outstanding issues between the two countries were put forward for discussion during a prolonged meeting between the Jordanian and Iraqi prime ministers and the members of the two official delegations, affirming that all outstanding issues, including the financial ones, were discussed in detail and solutions will be announced on February 2.

Ghunaimat also stressed that an agreement was reached on the formation of a technical, financial and legal committee to look into the unresolved financial issues and resolve them.

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