House panel summons top officials for budget supplement hearing

2 Finance Committee
(Photo: Jordan News)

AMMAN — The Parliamentary Finance Committee met with various members of the government on Sunday to discuss a supplement to the General Budget Law for the year 2021.اضافة اعلان

The meeting was attended by Minister of Finance Mohamad Al-Ississ, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Al-Shraideh, Director General of the Income and Sales Tax Department Hossam Abu Ali, and Director General of the General Budget Department Amjad Al-Shariqi.

A member of the Finance Committee, Omar Al-Naber, told Jordan News that supplement includes a US grant worth JD268 million, adding that the MPs discussed with the officials channels of spending the funds.

"The largest portion of this grant, as stated in the meeting, was for capital expenses, and an amount will be paid towards the salaries of 3,000 teachers who will be employed. An amount of JD20 million will be allocated to spend on training for graduates of the information technology course," Al-Naber stated.
The lawmaker also pointed out that part of the grant will be allocated to support segments that affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A further "JD10 million (will be allocated to) Jordan Customs, including JD5 million to capacity building programs targeting the employees and their training."

The lawmaker clarified that no amount has been allocated to the health sector, or for the opening of new hospitals or health centers. He added that the minister of health has now halted the construction of a number of health centers due to the lack of personnel, and is working on a reexamination of the Kingdom's need for health centers.

The MP indicated that 20 percent of the total amount was allocated to emergencies. "This part is not clear because the people have the right to know what emergency procedures are being spent on, so this point must be detailed and clarified." According to the deputy, the disbursement of this grant, in general, has gone in the right direction, especially since a large part of it has been allocated to capital expenditures.

During the meeting, head of the Finance Committee Nimr Al-Sulaihat said that the committee will hold a meeting at the end of this week, to listen to the relevant ministers about the key projects included in the budget supplement and the implementation plans, while checks and balances will apply.

For his part, Planning Minister Shraideh stressed that this supplement does not add any deficit to the state's general budget, explaining that it includes priority projects for the next stage.

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