King directs gov’t to freeze kerosene tax during winter

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with representatives and leading figures from Aqaba on January 2, 2023. (Photos: Royal Court)
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, at a meeting with representatives and leading figures from Aqaba on Monday, directed the government to freeze the kerosene tax during winter to ease the burden on citizens, especially families with limited income.اضافة اعلان

King Abdullah reiterated that a serious national effort is underway to find economic solutions through the Economic Modernization Vision, which aims to alleviate financial pressure on citizens, a Royal Court statement said.

His Majesty stressed the importance of working relentlessly on executing the political, economic, and administrative modernization plans in 2023, noting that this year will be dedicated to implementation.

On the importance of promoting Jordan as a tourism and investment destination, the King noted that there is local, regional, and international interest in investing in the south and in Aqaba specifically, emphasizing that working transparently and cooperating with the private sector is paramount while prioritizing public interest.

His Majesty spoke about significant projects slated for launch in Aqaba, including a water desalination plant megaproject, and the development of the airport and port, calling for enhancing the agriculture sector to capitalize on the governorate’s climate and investing in solar energy.

The King noted the importance of youth capacity building and empowerment in Aqaba by developing schools, establishing a medical university, and expanding the academic offerings of the University of Jordan in Aqaba.

His Majesty also noted Google’s selection of Aqaba as a point of intercontinental convergence for their submarine cable project, which connects Asia, Europe, and Africa, noting the opportunities that would be available to the ICT sector a result.

Responding to comments from the audience, the King underscored the importance of founding an advisory council of specialists from Aqaba to support the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority’s (ASEZA) board of commissioners, in service of the governorate’s development.

His Majesty stressed that revenue generated by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone must ultimately benefit Aqaba and developing its services, noting the importance of promoting decent realization.

Also during the meeting, the King recalled recent events in Maan Governorate, where several Public Security Directorate personnel were killed in the line of duty, paying tribute to the martyrs and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

For their part, the attendees reaffirmed their support for His Majesty’s modernization efforts, commending the King’s and the Hashemites’ principled stance towards the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem.

The speakers also highlighted a number of issues in Aqaba Governorate and called for addressing them, including creating more job opportunities, supporting income-generating enterprises, attracting more investments, and improving healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said the government will immediately freeze the tax on kerosene during winter, upon His Majesty’s directives, adding that the government will not increase kerosene prices during this season even if global prices go up, and will decrease prices if global prices go down.

The prime minister said the government is studying an expansion of the University of Jordan’s Aqaba branch, adding that the Aqaba field hospital will become a public hospital and a number of projects in the governorate will conclude this year.

Also speaking at the meeting, Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi said Royal initiatives implemented in Aqaba have exceeded JD20 million, including JD10 million in the city.

He added that Royal initiatives across the country will focus on productive projects that provide jobs for youth, noting that a center for the deaf community will be established in Aqaba upon Royal directives.

Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, Adviser to His Majesty for Tribal Affairs AtefHajaya, Interior Minister Mazen Farraya, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maj. Gen. Yousef Huneiti, Public Security Directorate Director Maj. Gen. Obaidallah Maaytah, ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nayef Al Fayez, and Aqaba Governor Khaled Hajjaj attended the meeting.

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