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‘IMF-proposed new taxes rejected, alternatives given’

By JT - Nov 09,2014 - Last updated at Nov 09,2014

AMMAN – Finance Minister Umayya Toukan on Sunday said the ministry has rejected proposals by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to increase the sales and other taxes. 

Toukan, who was briefing the Cabinet on the economic and fiscal reform programme implemented in cooperation with the IMF, said the ministry has presented a package of alternative measures to increase revenues and control spending. He did not elaborate on the alternatives, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The minister said, however, the IMF's executive board has agreed to complete the fifth review of Jordan’s performance under a three-year programme supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), according to Petra. 

The approval of the IMF to complete the fifth review, Toukan said, came shortly after the international rating agency Standard & Poor's upgraded the credit outlook for Jordan from negative to stable, pointing out that the draft 2015 state budget law referred to Parliament early last week kept expenditures under control, pursuing a consistent austerity policy. 

The completion of the fifth review was a success attributed to the fiscal reforms the government has made, resulting in higher domestic revenues and tighter spending without adding any burdens or taxes on citizens last year, the minister told the Cabinet. 

According to Petra, as the fifth review was completed, the IMF has released a total of JD129 million under the SBA. 

The 36-month SBA in the amount of $2 billion, or 800 per cent of Jordan’s quota at the IMF, was approved by the IMF’s executive board on August 3, 2012. 

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