Jordan's 2012 budget deficit to hit $1.5 billion
Jordan's 2012 budget will be approximately JD 6.8 billion ($9.6 billion), with a deficit of $1.5 billion, as general revenues are estimated to only reach $8.1 billion.
Jordanian Finance Minister Umayya Toukan, speaking before the Parliament's House of Representative after it had approved the budget, said that the previous government bequeathed enormous challenges to the newly-appointed one in terms of budget and budget deficit. Foreign donations to the Kingdom reached JD 870 million ($1.2 billion) under the previous government.
He noted that Jordan's debt has increased noticeably for the past three years due to higher electricity, gas, and other energy prices in international markets.
Since the revolution in Egypt, the pipeline that transports natural gas to Jordanand Israel has been bombed 12 times. Due to the resulting disruptions to the gas supply, the government has resorted to using more expensive heavy fuels and diesel for electricity generation, leading to higher energy costs.
The government announced last month that electricity prices will be increased to help cover the $1.5 billion in losses through the end of 2011 caused by attacks on the gas pipeline. The finance minister warned that these sorts of trends are headed in the wrong direction, and that the situation may explode if corrective measures are not taken soon. (Source: english.nuqudy.com)