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Razzaz outlines government’s economic approach for upcoming phase

PM highlights plans for reducing energy bill, attracting investments

By JT - May 20,2019 - Last updated at May 20,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz meets with the Lower House's Economic and Investment Committee on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday discussed with the Lower House’s Economic and Investment Committee the government’s restructuring plans for the economic and investment sectors, with focus on the energy and the Investment Commission files.

The premier said that the creation of the Ministry of Local Administration aims at keeping up with recent changes and boosting coordination between the governorates and municipal councils.

He added that the founding of the ministry came in implementation of Royal Directives to expand participation in the decision-making process and setting priorities, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

As for the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, its establishment was based on an extensive study of the status quo that revealed the Kingdom’s need for a digital economy, Razzaz said, pointing to the need for a framework to develop the sector, which is capable of providing jobs and exporting services.

Addressing the new portfolios, Razzaz highlighted the importance of clarifying their respective duties and unraveling areas of overlap.  

The premier said that the government continues to deal with economic challenges and works to mitigate their effects on the lives of citizens, referring to cooperation with the Lower House to create a programme that reflects the nation’s priorities. 

He underscored that the government has made several economic reforms to the testament of the international community during the London initiative, adding that setting the priorities and mechanisms of boosting economic growth will be the primary challenge in 2019 and 2020.

Razzaz affirmed the government’s keenness on reducing the cost of energy production by forming a panel for public institutions, designated to assess the status quo of the energy sector and provide policy blueprints for the next five years. 

The aforementioned committee is made up of a number of senators, MPs, private-sector representatives, academicians and relevant ministers, according to Petra. 

The government is in the process of restructuring the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) and appointing a suitable director, Razzaz said (see story on page 3). 

He also shed light on governmental procedures taken by the government to decrease financing costs for transport projects and attract investments that create employment opportunities for Jordanians.

The prime minister also referred to recent measures pertaining to the real estate sector that seek to provide more reasonably priced housing, noting as well that the government is addressing the issue of medication pricing through eliminating monopolisation within the industry, which creates “unjustified profitability”, according to Petra. 

The ministry will also be instating a system to ensure governmental commitment with regards to the pricing of medication, Razzaz added, highlighting a decision to lower the prices of 400 medicines.

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