The International Monetary Fund Wednesday, August 29, released a $39-million loan to Jordan, praising its economic performance but urging it to rein in the fiscal deficit. The $39 million brings the total sum extended to Jordan to $86 million. It is part of a three-year $164-million support program.
Real growth had picked up, the public debt ratio had declined, international reserves had climbed and interest rates were down, IMF first deputy managing director Stanley Fischer said in a statement.
The improvements reflected prudent policies and wide-ranging structural reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and a privatization program, Fischer said. But the shortfall in non-tax revenue items in 2000 also resulted in a widening of the fiscal deficit, he said.
"The authorities' 2001 program targets a significant reduction in the fiscal deficit through both expenditure and revenue measures, including the recent increase in the domestic prices of some petroleum products," Fischer said.
"While data available for the first half of 2001 suggest that fiscal performance has been broadly in line with the program's targets, strict adherence to the present expenditure plan will be required, as well as the early identification of revenue shortfalls, and the rapid implementation of offsetting measures if needed." ― (AFP, Washington)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )