Jordan lowers deficits by cutting back on grants but increases subsidies
A drop in grants and an increase in subsidies’ bill have eclipsed the configuration of financial reform carried out by the government, Finance’s Secretary General Omar Zu’bi said on Tuesday.
In a statement, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, Zu’bi described the fall in grants to JD25.8 million by the end of September this year from JD1.04 billion during the same period of 2011 as one “huge” factor. He highlighted financial reform by indicating that the budget deficit excluding grants has declined to JD1.1 billion during the first nine months of 2012 from JD1.2 billion during the same period last year.
If Jordan received the same assistance it received in 2011 this year, the budget deficit would have declined to only JD9 million, Zu’bi pointed out, noting that if the level of subsidies remained the same as in 2011, the budget would have achieved a JD200 million surplus.
The biggest challenge now is to deal with the impact of the cut of Egypt’s gas supplies to the Kingdom, Zu’bi said. He indicated that domestic revenues increased during the first nine months of this year by JD235 million compared to the same period last year.