More independent gov’t bodies abolished

Members of the Lower House are seen under the Dome during a legislative session on Wednesday (Photo: Ameer Khalifa/JNews)
AMMAN — In a Lower House session held on Wednesday, MPs approved the fiscal surpluses bill for the year 2019, which entailed cancelling three independent government units. اضافة اعلان

Nimer Al-Sleihat, head of the financial committee at the Lower House, said in remarks to Jordan News that, the three administratively and financially independent agencies were merged with relevant ministries or turned into a company. 

Detailing, he said that the Youth and Sports Support Fund “has been merged with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, while the Scientific Research and Innovation Fund will be part of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.”

Meanwhile, the Aqaba Railway Company has been converted to a joint-stock company.

Sleihat stressed the need to preserve public funds and reduce the number of independent bodies as much as possible, stating that this is a “popular demand supported by all members of Parliament.”

Economist and journalist Youssef Damra explained the significant impact of the abolition of the independent bodies in saving the state’s budget in an interview with Jordan News.

Damra stated that there are “two types of independent bodies, the first of which generates revenues and is considered a vital tributary to the national economy.” However, the second type, he said, “does not contribute to the economy and is a waste of public money.”

On Tuesday, the legal committee approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing bill for the year 2020, after amending some of its articles.

The decision to approve the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Bill came during a meeting chaired by Muhammad Al-Hilalat and attended by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Maher Al-Sheikh and Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit Samia Abu Sharif.

Fayez Basbous, a member of the parliament’s legal committee, lauded the bill as “a new legislation that adopts international standards with regard to the subjects of combating money laundering and combating terrorism. In addition to that, it is a national demand aimed at establishing national and economic security.”

“The bill comes to aid combating terrorism by preserving of the security of citizens and the homeland, as this law guarantees heavy penalties for anyone who wants to hurt the country in any form,” Basbous said. “It also cuts off all those who seek help and support for terrorism, whether they are individuals or companies.”

The bill intends to mitigate the negative impact that money laundering has had on Jordan’s economy and economic stability.

“This law pursues even those suspected of money laundering cases, whether they are owners of companies or even individuals,” Basbous added.

The law consists of 42 articles that stem from the input of many experts and specialists in the legal, economic, and anti-terrorism fields. According to Basbous, the most important characteristic of this law is that it is not subject to the statute of limitations.