Pressing economic challenges

Salameh daraawi
Salameh Darawi (Photo: Jordan News)
The relative improvement in local revenue to the public budget does not mean we are on a path to economic recovery. The spike in tax revenue has its causes but those may not last long if economic growth remains poor. Jordan’s economic issues are far deeper than would be resolved through the growth of a secondary sector.اضافة اعلان

Even the revenue generated through tax collections may not serve the investment process, but rather exacerbate the growing burden of public spending, which grows heavier every month, while lacking real economic return. An increase in tax revenue will only go towards paying salaries, pay raises, and the payment of pointless irrational financing expenses, which is to say they will neither benefit the economic nor the Treasury.

To this day, we have not found solutions to chronic economic deformities, and a stagnant government that plague the economy. Even though the government has been in power for eight months, the economy does not seem to have a clear economic agenda. It is as if the government is so occupied by the pandemic, it has become incapable of taking the kind of economic action needed to face the pressing challenges at hand. These challenges require a clear economic program, one that the government has yet to develop as it has yet to offer indications that it has been addressing different economic difficulties.

Barring the International Monetary Fund’s reform program, the government lacks an economic action plan, which points to the possibility of growing social and economic woes that have yet to come, unless the government stands against them through clear agendas. Modest economic growth requires in-depth discussions with the private sector to reach a joint, twofold vision. The first fold would be concerned with eliminating obstacles that hinder the growth of the private sector’s expansion and survival. The second would foster the private sector’s role in employment by preparing a system of incentives and conditional facilities.

Unemployment is society’s biggest nightmare at the moment and constitutes a real threat to its stability, given the public sector’s inability to recruit and the limited scope of recruitment within the private sector. This demands nationwide action by the government, which could take the form of a vocational training plan led by the private sector that could receive facilities and incentives in return, fostering its ability to recruit Jordanians instead of expatriates.

The Kingdom’s investment environment is still governed by ambiguity and is in dire need of direct and heavy intervention from the government to instigate a sound shift, and eliminate the complexities that continue to take a toll on its structure and administrative procedures.

It is the government’s job to take confident steps to face obstacles standing in the way of reform. The first of these steps is to assess and enforce accountability when it comes to official business and ensuring that the law takes its course.

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