Former PM raises concerns over new city, calls for further studies

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Former Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb called for a thorough study of the new city plan that clarifies the rationale and means of implementing the project, which will incur large costs to the Treasury, Ammon News reported.اضافة اعلان

During a lecture hosted by the Jordanian Society for Science and Culture on Saturday, Abul Ragheb said that the problem of overcrowding in Amman and Zarqa is “not a sufficient reason” to construct a new city, because there are simpler and less costly solutions.

No discussions on a project of this size should take place unless the funding is available, he said.

The former prime minister expressed concerns based on the experiences of other countries, making reference to a “faltering” city project in Giza, Egypt, built through public-private partnerships.

Political parties and ParliamentRegarding the political system in Jordan, Abul Ragheb pointed to “major developments and challenges” to come with recent amendments to the Constitution and called for the establishment of effective parties to achieve a parliamentary government.

Government representation should be granted to parties only gradually, to allow fair party competition, he added.
No discussions on a project of this size should take place unless the funding is available, he said.
Abul Ragheb also called for a reconsideration of the division of constituencies in the Elections Law, considering it unsuccessful and pointing to parties that enjoy a good level of national participation.

Most political parties in the Kingdom participate in the same programs, he said, questioning how parties can avoid redundancy in implementing these programs.

Foreign affairs and economyOn the Kingdom’s foreign affairs, the former prime minister spoke of the “strong” Royal effort to maintain balance in international relations.

As for the economy, he said that current global inflation is due to printing banknotes in the “trillions”  to support economies and fund wars.

However, Jordan’s Central Bank has taken steps to maintain the stability and strength of the dinar, and the growth and prosperity witnessed in Gulf countries has reflected to some extent on the Jordanian economy.

Government transparencyThe former prime minister called on successive governments to continue transparent communication that informs citizens, and not merely state decisions that have been taken. For example, in the course of administrative development, as the government proposes dissolving or merging ministries, “no one knows the reasons for these decisions or their desired outcomes”, he said.  

He also called for the government to prioritize transparency by appointing a general inspector for each ministry and following up on issues raised by auditors.

Development focusJordan has economic, natural, and industrial resources that must be taken advantage of, in addition to tourism products, Abul Ragheb said.

Meanwhile, security “is very important for Jordan”, and investors are always on the lookout for secure investment environments, he noted.
“Citizens are suffering from hardships they can no longer bear”
The former prime minister called on the government to enhance price control measures and its monitoring of markets, because “citizens are suffering from hardships they can no longer bear”.

The new Israeli governmentAbu Ragheb said that the new extreme right-wing Israeli government is raising sensitive issues that constitute a “major challenge” with potentially serious repercussions, especially if the occupation continues spurning the Kingdom in order to achieve its political and religious goals.

He stressed that if the situation continues as it is in the Palestinian territories with the rise of the Israeli extreme right, then “things will end in a religious war”.

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