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Only citizens should benefit from subsidies — PM

By JT - Oct 04,2017 - Last updated at Oct 04,2017

AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki has said that all subsidised commodities are being currently under study regarding the sales tax, stressing that only citizens should benefit from subsidies. 

Speaking at a meeting with municipal council presidents held at Al Hussein Cultural Centre on Tuesday, Mulki said that it is unacceptable for non-Jordanians to benefit from tax exemptions, which affect the Jordanian economy and citizens, especially in light of the fact that about one-third of the Kingdom’s population are non-Jordanians and they benefit from tax exemptions on goods.

The meeting was part of a dialogue initiated by the government with stakeholders to discuss solutions to the economic challenges facing Jordan.

The prime minister reviewed the main features and the pillars of the financial and structural reform programme, pointing out that the economic challenges that Jordan has been going through for several years are due to different reasons, including external ones like the Syrian refugee influx, and internal reasons like the unjustified sales tax exemptions.

He stressed that the main goal to be achieved at this stage is self-reliance, noting that the reform measures initiated by the government last year contributed to keeping the debt ratio to gross domestic product unchanged, noting that it reached 95.2 per cent last year, while it stands now at 94.7 per cent.

On the amendments to the Income Tax Law, Mulki affirmed that the government is committed to the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah to protect the middle- and low-income classes, and that there will be no change in the segments related to individuals and families.

He stressed that the amendments of law aim to raise the efficiency of tax collection and to harshen the penalties on those convicted of tax evasion, a practice that is “a crime against Jordan”.

The prime minister noted that severe penalties will be imposed on cases of tax evasion up to imprisonment that is irreplaceable with fines.

He announced that a special investigation unit is being established for tax related violations.

 

The meeting was attended by Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs and Minister of State Musa Maaytah, Minister of Municipal Affairs Walid Masri, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani, Minister of Transport Jamil Mujahed and the Mayor of Amman Yousef Shawarbeh. 

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If the aim of the government is to limit the exemptions for refugees who are already living below poverty line or on some foreign aid, its better to send them back. OR if the aim is to target the foreign employees of private companies/business who are drawing salaries not more than that of Jordanians, who don't have any privileges in health, education or any other facilities offered by Jordan to its own citizen. Please don't forget the role of these companies and employees in overall growth of Jordan economy in terms of providing revenue to so many business attached with these companies. And the role of bring a lot of foreign exchange to the country to support the current account. So it is requested to be rational, keeping in view all the in and outs of this decision. The end result for the country should not be losing the revue and employment instead of increasing.

I AM VERY GLAD TO SEE JORDANIANS WEIGHING IN ON THIS DIVIDE AND RULE POLICY THAT IS IN-HUMAN AND UNENFORCABLE. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT SOME TIMES, SOME GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS MAKE SOME STATEMENTS THAT AMOUNT TO POLITICALLY COUNTER PRODUCTIVE AND THIS IS IN FACT WHAT THE PRIME mINISTER HAS DONE. THIS REMINDS ME OF THE STATEMENT MADE SEVERAL TIMES ABOUT THE REASON(S) WHY JORDAN DICRIMINATE AGAINST THEIR FOREIGN IN LAWS AND THEIR FAMILIES. QUOTE;IF WE GRANT JORDAINAN WOMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MEN RIGHTS OR CITIZENSHIP. IT WILL LEAD TO THE DESOLUTION OF THE JORDANIAN HOMOGENOUS POPULATION AND THAT IT WILL DISRUPT THE INTENT OF THE PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD AND THE LIST GOES ON. THIS IS A PROBLEM IN JORDAN AND IF THEY THINK THAT THEY CAN BALANCE THEIR ECONOMIC WOES BY INTRODUCING SOME FORM OF DICRIMINATION, IT WILL NOT WORK. A PERSON WHO THINK THAT IT IS OK OFFER BREAD TO THE FAMILIES OF JORDANIAN MAN MARRIED TO MULTIPLE NON JORDANIAN WOMEN BUT NOT TO A JORDANIAN WOMAN MARRIED TO A NON JORDANIAN MAN, THINK AGAIN BECAUSE IT WILL LEAD TO LOSS OF MANY IF NOT MOST FOREIGN AIDS. I ONCE WENT TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERROR TO GET PAPERS FOR MY SON AND WAS CLEARLY TOLD THAT THE REASON WHY THEY ARE NOT DOING THAT IS THAT THEIR NEIGBOURS WILL MAKE PROBLEM FOR THEM AND I WAS TOLD WHICH COUNTRY THEY MENT. THIS TYPE OF UNCOORDINATED POLICY THAT AFFECT PEOPLES LIFE ARE NOT HELPFUL FOR THE KINGDOM AND IN FUTURE, IT COULD BACK-FIRE. ITS UP TO THE PRIME MINISTER TO RETRACT AND/OR CLARIFY HIS PROPOSED POLICY.

Regardless of whether or not a person is a Jordanian citizen. A humanitarian policy would ensure that anyone within Jordan's borders receives sufficient sustenance. Does this proposal include Egyptians whom are involved in every building project, or business people and anyone else who come to work for the benefit of the country? Do we tell these people, you have to pay a higher price for bread and sugar? What kind of message would Jordan be sending?

Directing Bread subsidies only to Jordanian citizens is difficult to apply and previous experience in energy has failed as it led to canceling subsidies for all, the same will happen for bread subsidy.

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THE PRIME MINISTER IS CORRECT AND RIGHT BUT THE PROBLEM WITH HIS PROPOSAL OR DECREE IS THAT WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO IS A CITIZEN AND WHO IS NOT WHEN WE FACTOR MIXED MIRRAGES. FOR EXAMPLE, I AM A US CITIZEN MARRIED TO A JORDANIAN AND WE HAVE ONE SON. DOES THE PRIME MINISTER IMPLY TO MEAN THAT MY WIFE CAN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE IN JORDAN WHILE HER HUSBAND AND SON ARE DENIED THESE PRIVILAGES?. SO WHO IS A CITIZEN OF JORDAN AND WHO IS NOT? FOR THIS PROPOSAL TO PASS A LEGAL MONSTER, HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRIME MINISTER SHOULD ONCE AND FOR ALL CATEGORICALLY STATE WHO IS WHO IN JORDAN. THIS IS LIKE TRUMP'S RELIGIOUS BAN WITHOUT BOUNDRIES. IF ANY JORDANIAN MAN CAN GO TO ANY COUNTRY AND MARRY AS MANY WOMEN AS THEY CAN AND ALL AND THEIR FAMILIES BENEFIT IN ANY WAY OR FROM FROM HIS DEFINITION OF " CITIZENS ", THEN THIS PROPOSAL IS NULL AND VOID.

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