The General Budget Department has finalized the state's 2001 draft fiscal budget, which will be debated by the budget's consultative council in the coming week, according to a report in the local Arabic daily Ad Dustour on Monday. The report said the draft budget which amounts to 2,350 million Jordanian dinars (JD) will be first submitted to the Cabinet and later to the Lower House of Parliament next month.
According to the draft, the coming Fiscal Budget reaffirms the government's commitment to the economic reform program which aims at reducing the deficit in the budget to 6 percent by reducing public spending, promoting investments and improving the tax collection system.
The draft budget retains the level of capital and investment spending on development projects at 6.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. At the same time it calls for controlling current public expenditures at a minimum level. The draft expects the current public expenditure will be around 3.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
The draft budget suggests that most capital expenditure be channeled to social infrastructure projects particularly those carried out in the less developed regions. The draft budget also makes allocations for the government-sponsored social safety package plan which aims at improving and modernizing basic services in the less developed regions and creating jobs that would curb unemployment and poverty.
The draft budget calls on the government, to carry out projects that can employ the largest number of workers, accelerate social and economic growth. It also calls on the government to approve projects for which grants and soft loans can be obtained, like primary health care schemes.
The report said the budget's consultative council chaired by Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb might introduce amendments to the draft budget before referring it to the Cabinet and Parliament. — ( Jordan Times )
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