Government earmarks JD448m to ease economic hardship

(Photo: Prime Ministry)
AMMAN — The government has allocated JD448 million worth of measures mitigate the economic hardships resulting from COVID-19, entailing a package of plans in various sectors.اضافة اعلان

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and Cabinet ministers announced that the mitigation plan has not affected the budget deficit, with Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Ississ announcing that the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has exerted efforts to secure grants from donor countries to help address the crisis.

The largest portion of the total sum will go toward paying delayed dues to contractors, especially hospitals, expecting that the JD240 million earmarked for this purpose will help reinvigorate the market.  

Another big chunk, JD113 million, is meant to sustain jobs in the private sector, with an additional JD25 million contribution by the Social Security Investment Fund for that purpose. The funds will help sustain the “Istidama” program designed to curb unemployment and will extend until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, JD60 million was allocated to expand the social safety-net program by increasing the number of households that receive direct cash support from the government by 60,000, raising the total number to 160,000.

The government will also create temporary jobs for thousands of young people and fresh graduates, including 2,500 for nurses, who will be employed temporarily in anti-Covid programs, such as the nation-wide vaccination program, at a cost of JD10 million.

The officials also said that Jordan has entered in contract worth JD70 million to secure vaccines.

Thousands will also be hired in maintenance projects targeting archaeological sites and tourism destinations. The state will also help find jobs in the IT sector and will pay 50 per cent of the wages.

Further measures have to mitigate the pressure of loans owed to government funds, raising the upper limit of credit facilities extended to farmers, slashing by half the licensing fees on public transport vehicles and fines related to guest workers’ work permits, among others.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Sakher Dudin said details will be announced over the course of the coming week by concerned ministers.