Khasawneh addresses Ramadan preparations amid regional struggles

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AMMAN – On Sunday, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh convened a comprehensive meeting at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply to deliberate on preparations for the forthcoming holy month of Ramadan. 

The meeting brought together representatives from various sectors, including commerce, industry, food, and agriculture, underscoring the nation's commitment to address multifaceted challenges amidst regional crises, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Here are some of the key points from the meeting:

1) Awareness of price increases:

  • The government is aware of the gradual increase in international prices for several commodities (such as oil, sugar, and rice) since last September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Factors contributing to price increases include increased imports in various countries, affecting supply and demand.
  • The government will take necessary measures to secure essential commodities for citizens during and after Ramadan through civil and military consumer corporations.
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2) Smooth flow of goods:

  • The government aims to ensure the smooth entry of items into the Kingdom without bureaucratic red tape.
  • The Jordan Customs, Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO), and Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) will facilitate this process.
  • The state budget has incurred significant losses due to the pandemic, which have affected tax revenues, trade, customs revenues, and Treasury income from local sources.

3) Ministry's plan for Ramadan:

  • Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply Yousef Al-Shamali assured that the ministry has been preparing for Ramadan for about a month.
  • The strategic reserves of essential items (wheat, barley, sugar, rice, oil, dried milk, and legumes) are safe and sufficient.
  • The ministry has stopped exporting sugar, rice, and legumes to ensure adequate quantities for the local market.

4) Challenges in Bab Al-Mandeb:

  • The current crisis in Bab Al-Mandeb is more challenging than the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • However, government measures have helped mitigate its impact on the private sector, especially in trade.

5) Jordan-UAE relations:

  • Prime Minister Al-Khasawneh met with UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani Al Zeyoudi.
  • They emphasized the deep relations between Jordan and the UAE under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

6) Poultry availability:

  • There are 16-18 million chickens available in the local market for Ramadan.
  • The decision to halt the export of hatching eggs for a month and suspend poultry meat exports before Ramadan has contributed to maintaining local supplies.

In summary, collaboration between the public and private sectors remains crucial to ensuring stable prices and adequate supplies during Ramadan.

Addressing the war on GazaKhasawneh underscored the significance of the ongoing efforts to help the people in Gaza amid challenging conditions. He commended the Jordanian Armed Forces – Arab Army (JAF) for their steadfast commitment to humanitarian missions, facilitating aid drops to alleviate the plight of Gazans enduring relentless aggression.

The Prime Minister reiterated Jordan's steadfast commitment to an immediate cessation of hostilities and the delivery of sustained humanitarian assistance. He advocated for a political resolution anchored in the two-state solution, emphasizing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty, harkening back to the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In the face of escalating challenges exacerbated by the Gaza crisis, Khasawneh acknowledged the additional burdens on both the public and private sectors, particularly concerning inflationary pressures stemming from escalated shipping costs. He emphasized the need for traders to reflect these costs responsibly in the pricing of goods to maintain reasonable profit margins.

The government, cognizant of the economic ramifications, implemented measures to mitigate inflationary impacts, including exemptions on customs duties and related fees associated with heightened maritime shipping charges. These measures, effective until the culmination of Ramadan, aim to stabilize prices and ensure the availability of essential commodities.

Expressing gratitude to the private sector for its unwavering commitment and ethical conduct, Khasawneh lauded its pivotal role in national development efforts. He underscored the imperative of collaboration between public and private entities, particularly amid regional disruptions and crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an unequivocal assertion of Jordan's enduring solidarity with Palestine, Khasawneh dismissed speculations and proposals advocating for sectoral suspensions as counterproductive. He reaffirmed Jordan's unwavering stance, epitomized by the leadership's tangible contributions to Gaza's humanitarian relief efforts.

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