Lower House passes 2021 budget bill with a majority
Amman, The Lower House of Parliament has approved on Sunday with a majority of votes, the two draft laws of the general budget and budgets of government units for the fiscal year 2021, in a session chaired by its Speaker Abdel Moneim Awdat, attended by Prime Minister, Dr. Bisher Khasawneh, and the Cabinet members.
The deputies agreed to reduce current expenditures by an amount of JD148 million, and tabled 16 recommendations, primarily aimed to commit the government to prepare quarterly reports of revenues and expenditures and the most prominent economic indicators, to be then submitted to the House.
The lawmakers also recommended formation of a national team to evaluate the energy file and develop solutions to ensure cost reduction, support agriculture, health, education and labor sectors, and develop the governorates, as well as merge and cancel independent government bodies, activate the public-private sector partnership, achieve comprehensive health insurance.
Moreover, the MPs recommended setting an upper ceiling for salaries and wages, in addition to increasing the salaries of civil and military workers and retirees, distributing the surplus electricity to industrial sectors, and remitting at least JD10 million from the Ministry of Education’s capital expenditures to the employment allocations.
Upon completing the budget legislation process, by publishing it in the Official Gazette, the government begins the spending and revenue collection processes, as the government expects, and in the event of not returning to lockdown in 2012, to collect JD7.87 billion from sales tax, at a rate of approximately 49%, and revenues from direct taxes such as income, profits and ownership by 20%, while foreign grants by 7%.
Per official estimates, the gov’t also expects collections to reach 24% from non-tax revenues, which include the sale of goods and services worth JD960 million, ownership income to amount to JD392 million, while revenues from fines, penalties and confiscations by 60% million, retirement returns by JD8 million, and various revenues by JD487 million.
The government estimates public spending at JD9.93 billion, by 24.5 percent on the public apparatus, 27.5 percent on the military and security agencies, 10% in capital spending on ongoing or under implementation projects, less than 2% on new projects, 15% on public debt servicing, 16% will go to retirement and compensation, while the remaining expenditures, which amount to 5%, are divided into recurrent cash aid of JD201 million, medical treatment worth JD75 million, university support of JD70 million, payment of previous commitments of JD74 million, and support for government units worth JD21 million, wheat and fodder subsidies worth JD55 million.
The budget deficit is estimated at JD2.05 billion, amounting to 2.6 billion, excluding grants.
The government also expects that the revenues of the 25 government units will amount to JD916 million, and their expenditures are about JD1.5 billion, with a deficit of JD586 million, before financing, and if the deficit of the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), which reaches JD283 million, and the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) hitting JD335. million, a deficit turns into savings by JD31 million.
Source: Jordan News Agency