MPs Debate Confidence, Economists Say Razzaz’s Statement Unspecific and Typical

AMMAN —AlGhad— Prime Minister Dr Omar Razzaz delivered the government’s statement before the House of Representatives in Parliament on Monday, reiterating commitment to the provisions and principles of the constitution and the Kingdom, and promising serious economic reformation efforts.

House members (MPs) will discuss and deliberate on the whether or not Confidence will be granted to the newly appointed PM and his Cabinet, votes pending.

Meanwhile, economists have criticised the PM’s statement as unspecific and more or less typical; similar to previous government statements.

Seeking the MPs confidence, the premier said his government is guided by His Majesty’s Letter of Designation to “launch a comprehensive national awakening that empowers Jordanians… through quality services, fair taxation, an agile, efficient government… and a social safety net that protects the vulnerable.”

His Majesty has also directed the government to forge a new social contract that is clear in terms of rights and duties, reshaping the relationship between the government and the citizenry, enhancing the latter’s role in sustainable development, he added.

Economist and former minister Maher Madadha told AlGhad that the PM’s statement was “too generic and requires not one government, but more, to implement.”

Dr Razzaz’s statement “lacks clear prioritisation and focus, despite the criticality of current phase, the difficult economic situation and the public political agitation,” he said.

Following are the main highlights of the Prime Minister’s statement:

          Fairer tax burden distribution and attaining a social security platform.

          Transparency and open communication with the citizen.

          The current exceptional situation requires gradual solutions tied to a clear timeline.

          Reducing poverty and unemployment and reinforcing equal access to opportunities.

          Encouraging foreign and domestic investment and controls on costs.

          Boosting quality of basic services, from education to health, transportation and water.

          Commitment to national security and support for Jordan Armed Forces and security apparatus.

According to the Prime Minister, these goals are neither “farfetched nor unattainable.”

The government’s agenda, in fact, “entails clear and achievable goals, including reducing poverty and unemployment, further equal opportunities for all, and expanding the social safety net, on fair, equitable basis to reinforce social justice. In addition, he also promised to encourage foreign and domestic investment and set tighter control measures on production costs.”

Still, economists argue that these goals presented in Parliament were not backed by action plans on how they’re going to be attained.

Likewise, Economics Professor at the Yarmouk University Qassim Hammouri sees that “economic reformation cannot be attained with comprehensive reforms on all frontiers, economic, social and political.”

The PM’s statement entailed “a lot of vague and unmeasurable promises,” he said.

“The Premier’s statement showed commitment and understanding of the citizen’s concerns and is charged with a strong sense of social responsibility and comprehension of the complications of poverty and unemployment, as well as the importance of revisiting the social contract. However, attaining the goals of the government’s announced agendas lack clear action plans and procedures.”

 (Petra)

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