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Professional associations to strike Wednesday against new Income Tax Law

JPA president describes strike as ‘peaceful, modern’ way to disapprove bill

By JT - May 27,2018 - Last updated at May 27,2018

AMMAN — The industrial sector, which employs some 230,000 people who support almost one million citizens, on Sunday called on the government to withdraw the 2018 Income Tax Law from the agenda of the Lower House's extraordinary session. 

After meeting in the Amman Chamber of Industry on Saturday in the presence of representatives of various industrial sub-sectors, the industry leaders said that applying the law will "contribute to less foreign investments and the closures of factories, and will consequently lead to the loss of jobs for many Jordanians."

In a statement, the sector said that reforming the national economy cannot be achieved through imposing more taxes but rather by stimulating productive sectors and increasing their contributions to the economy.

Several professional associations have expressed their readiness to take part in a strike protesting the law following a call by the Professional Associations Council on Saturday.

The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) called on all members to participate in the protest in defence of people's living conditions and to counter the negative repercussions that will befall the middle- and low-income and marginalised segments of the society, according to a JEA statement.

The JEA, which has around 150,000 members, also called on the government to withdraw amendments to the draft law and to make amendments to the civil service bylaw through "effective and constructive" dialogue with stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Jordan Press Association  President Rakan Saaideh stressed the syndicate's commitment to the council's decision to start a protest against the draft law, describing the strike as a "peaceful, modern way to disapprove the bill".

Saaideh said that Jordanians have suffered from numerous economic burdens over the past two years, including higher prices for electricity and fuel derivatives, which made citizens "unable to face further economic hardships once the draft law is finally endorsed".

The Jordan Nurses Association called on its members to stop work between 9:00am and 2:00pm on Wednesday, in protest against the draft law and amendments to the civil service bylaw.

For its part, the Jordan Bar Association urged all lawyers to stop work in all the Kingdom’s courts.

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh on Sunday highlighted the importance of joint work to revise amendments to the income tax draft law in order to accurately consider their repercussions on various sectors, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Hani Mulki at the Lower Chamber, the two officials stressed the importance of embarking on expanded dialogue on the amendments, as Mulki confirmed that the government will have a meeting with professional associations and several industrial and commercial sectors in this regard. 

The speaker said that the Lower House, through its committees and blocs, will also hold several meetings with various sectors to reach understandings that can contribute to maintaining the lower- and middle-income segments of the society. 

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