20011: highest energy bill in Jordan history
Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jaafar Hassan, revealed that Jordan's 2011 energy bill reached JD 2.75 billion (US$5.25 billion), the highest in the Kingdom's history. Energy amounted to 26% of all Jordanian imports. This is putting a strain on the Jordanian economy, increasing the country's debt and placing additional burdens on the budget. Hassan is not optimistic about the near future, as he told Jordan Television. "There are no magic fixes in the immediate short-term, but I think in the medium-term, there are plenty of possible options in energy in particular. But with regards to the economy, the government has embarked on key policies and programs."
In discussing the deficit, Hassan noted that, "Reality had a tremendous impact on state revenues and the budget's ability to cope with economic requirements, as well as the economy's capacity to generate new jobs to address unemployment." Hassan was most likely referencing the 17% decline in tourism and investment in 2011.
He admitted that the economic hardships facing Jordan had directly affected revenues and the budget, "Which today is in trouble." He added that 88% of overall spending is on current expenditures.
Nevertheless, the minister sees opportunities for partnerships with GCC states, and included that foreign aid to Jordan had increased due to "Faith in Jordan's reforms and regional political role." (Source: english.nuqudy.com)
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