Jordanian Economic Reform

Posted on April 4, 2012

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Since January 2011 there was nothing called economic reform in Jordan. Former Prime Minister Ma’rouf al-Bakhit, was not known for being a reformer, he totally failed to formulate a long-term economic strategy to deal with Jordan’s never-ending problems, including a rising budget deficitthat has reached a frightening levels.

Awn Shawkat Al Khasawneh - World Economic Foru...

Awn Shawkat Al Khasawneh - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

He was replaced in October 2011 by Awn al-Khasawneh, who is supposed to be more reform oriented than al-Bakhit (watch Dumb & DumberJim Carrey & Jeff Daniels). The new government won a vote of confidence from evil corrupted parliament and has not yet announced a long-term economic strategy.

None of the past reform strategies have ever been successful or implemented, nor there was a new one formulated. Instead, as the situation worsened in light of the global financial crisis and rising food and energy prices, the government adopted an expansionary fiscal policy that has added significantly to the problem (The Economic and Social Transformation Program – orchestrated by Bassem Awadallah Al Bahlawan).

Foreign Grants and aids such as the $1.4 billion from Saudi Arabia are neither guaranteed in the future nor will they contribute to solving Jordan’s structural budget problem where revenues are unable to meet the operational expenses of the government (Over 75% of the government expenses is salaries, probably the highest worldwide), let alone any capital expenditures.

A National Employment Strategy that would, among other things, replace guest workers with local ones was announced in March but has not been published. Furthermore, the government has sent confusing signals about its policy. In September, for example, the governor of the central bank was dismissed for his “liberal views,” his belief in a “market economy,” * as if the market economy is a bad one!

Now I dare any official to show real economic reforms that happened in the past 10 years! What are you waiting for Mr. Khasawneh? Mr. Khasawneh, your response to domestic protests and the regional uprisings has been hesitant, weak and so far show your ignorance. Mr. Khasawneh, the government the execution arm for the country so it’s your duty sir to work something out for our homeland!

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