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Economic executive program

Salameh Darawi (Photo: Jordan News)
Salameh Darawi (Photo: Jordan News)
As we’ve said before, Jordan currently doesn’t need an economic plan as much as it needs an economic executive program, which is what His Majesty King Abdullah directed the government to set up as soon as possible, within clear objectives and set timelines.اضافة اعلان

We must ask, why the Royal directive now in particular? And why the expediting of the economic executive program?

The answer does not require much analysis and in-depth views; economic recession has prevailed over the majority of economic activities, both public and private, and governments have become hostages to the variables of the pandemic, which flipped financial balances and constituted a real nightmare for the country’s stability. This was due to the shutdown of many sectors under the Defense Law, which imposed full and partial curfews, as well as heavy losses suffered by the Treasury, which exceeded JD1 billion in 2020. That number accounted for the lion’s share of the doubling of the budget deficit, which reached JD2.25 billion, twice as much as forecast.

This tied the government’s hands in regards to any economic stimulation measures, and it was left to wait for epidemiological developments to address events as they happened. This is in addition to feeble public economic initiatives due to limited financial resources, and the absence of financial surpluses for the government to support the various troubled sectors.
This explains why the government is moving without any clear economic direction that would be able to address the post-pandemic challenges, now that the pandemic is relatively in recession.

An economic executive program means that the government is required to act immediately to resolve the issues from which economic sectors are suffering due to the pandemic, and ensure their gradual recovery and return to pre-pandemic levels at the bare minimum. After that, the government can move towards stimulating economic activity and putting sectors back on track for the economic growth required for creating new jobs that contribute to addressing poverty and unemployment.

The Royal directive to the government to launch an economic executive program means that the program is executive not diagnostic, as time does not allow for pontification and resonating speeches to the media about the crises and challenges facing the economy. We have many of those, on top of enough plans and proposals to stimulate the economies of the entire region, let alone the national economy, which is in dire need for quick action to stop the bleeding in some key sectors.

However, the efficiency and effectiveness of the economic executive program depends on the partnership between the government and the private sector, which the King stressed in his directives to the government, because, in principle, the private sector is the main engine for economic growth. Therefore, there must be a mutual understanding of steps for practical solutions that the government must complete through a comprehensive package of measures, supported by set timeframes, be it in relation to legislation, regulations, or even training and capacity building for administrative bodies that deal with the private sector, for the purpose of enhancing the local business environment.

In fact, the national economy does not have the luxury of time; it is in dire need for quick economic surgical interventions to stop the bleeding, protect troubled sectors from collapsing and vanishing, and enhance promising opportunities that are still waiting for someone to bring them into existence.

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