September 09, 2018

 Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday delivered a lecture at the University of Jordan focusing on domestic issues and the governmentís priorities for the next stage.

The prime minister said there will be no settlement of any corruption case before concluding all legal procedures, including the phosphate case and its prime suspect Walid Al Kurdi.

Razzaz pointed out to contacts with the concerned authorities in Britain to retrieve Al Kurdi.

He referred to His Majesty's crystal clear directives regarding the fight against corruption, which are impeccable, and that no one is above the law or has an immunity to corruption.

"We will not only fight corruption but we will also pursue its roots," Razzaz said.

He confirmed that the case of illegal production and smuggling of tobacco for sale in the local market is proceeding in a legal and judicial process, and vowed not to close it before completing the judicial proceedings against those involved in the case.

The discussion figured high on current fiscal and economic conditions and tax reform efforts, particularly a draft income tax law the government has yet to send to the parliament. He indicated that the proposed bill target tax evasion and dodging and well-off individuals and businesses. 

The prime minister spoke in detail about the economy and public finance where he said hefty public expenditure in past years is to blame for public debt and budget deficit. 

He emphasized his governmentís pursuit of a fair distribution of the overall tax burden, assuring that 90 percent of those registered with the Social Security Corporation will not be affected by the new income tax law. 

Razzaz said investments are the key to economic growth because they generate jobs and rejuvenate economy activity across the board. He spoke of a government plan to set up a public shareholding company to encourage investments nationwide.

While emphasizing the urgency of economic reform, the prime minister underlined the importance of political reform and a broader engagement of grassroots in the decision-making process. 

The prime minister also said previous governments relied heavily on indirect taxes which, by nature, leave a major economic impact because they are simply collected from everyone regardless of their purchasing power and profitability when it comes to businesses.