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Abu-Ghazaleh: EPDF Experts Analyze the 2015 Budget and Propose Recommendations

16-Mar-2015 | Source : Economic Policy Development Forum | Visits : 5586
Special to ag-IP-news Agency
AMMAN - The Economic Policy Development Forum (EDPF) headed by its president HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh organized a seminar on the Jordanian Government Budget for 2015. 

HE Dr. Mohammad Abu Hamour, HE Dr. Khaled Alwazani and HE Salameh Aldarawi gave detailed technical presentations of the budget during the seminar which was attended by the Chairman of the Financial Committee at the House of Representatives, H.E. Eng. Yousef Alqarneh and members of both houses of the Parliament and Arab and foreign ambassadors, as well as representatives of the public and private sectors, UN agencies, civil society and the Media. 

Driven by his interest in the crucial subject of the seminar, Eng. Alqarneh expressed his desire to invite Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh to deliver a speech before the Financial Committee at the House of Representatives.
The participants agreed on making the following recommendations to be considered by the relevant decision makers:

1. Setting up an economic team to oversee financial, commercial, business and investment affairs; comprising HE Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, HE Minister of Industry and Trade and HE the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan, to coordinate policies and provide recommendations.
2. Preparing the budget in a manner that would help implement a comprehensive financial, economic and social plan, rather than a mere statement of revenues and expenses; as budgets are action plans.
3. The need for developing clear financial policies for budgeting, such that successive budgets can be prepared in accordance with unified financial principles.
4. The need for adopting realistic assumptions (e.g. oil and gas prices).
5. The need to make a decision based on a scientific, economic and political study to determine the nuclear reaction case after so many years and substantial expenses spent without reaching a final decision on the matter.
6. Under deflation, it only makes sense to have a developmental rather than deflationary budget.
7. The need to define the financial model based on the budget findings that the growth rate will be (4%).
8. The need to link GDP growth rate to population growth which is currently higher than (4%)..
9. The plan needs to include measures to address unemployment and development issues, eliminate tax evasion and implement the National Integrity Charter and administrative reform.
10. The need to separate grants from revenue and take practical steps to utilize the frozen GCC grant on which the State is paying interest due to failure to translate it into investment projects.
11. The budget needs to be a plan to support GDP by creating wealth, expanding the tax base as an alternative to increasing taxes and adopting the progressive tax principle.
12. Investing in water networks development and maintenance, water desalination projects and alternative energy projects.
13. Governments must adhere to the guidelines provided in the Speech from the Throne and be held accountable on an annual basis.
The studies presented in the seminar and discussions covered many other subjects which will be compiled in a study to be presented to decision makers.

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