PM: Gov’t to reinstate mandatory military service

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday announced that his government will gradually reinstate mandatory military service (also known as Banner Service) in a bid to address poverty and unemployment and invest in youth potentials.


“The government will gradually reintroduce the “Banner Service” in a new form and format different from previous years,” Razzaz said in a weekly televised message to the nation.


He added: “There have always been continuous demands from Jordanians in past years to reinstate the Banner Service to refine the national identity of youth and to reinforce a culture of discipline and commitment among them to serve their future and homeland.”


Razzaz explained that the military service will be mandatory at this stage and will target a specific age group that is neither employed nor receiving education and will not target those outside of the country.


He said more details will be announced this week as the Ministry of Labor and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army will begin planning for the gradual implementation of the program.


According to the premier, the reintroduction of the mandatory military service is part of the government’s efforts to increase Jordanian youths’ participation in productive sectors such as agriculture, construction and other industries.


The move also aims to arm the younger generation with digital skills in information technology, which, according to Razzaz, has become a necessity to enhance productivity in all sectors.


In his address, Razzaz noted His Majesty the King’s non-stop orders to the government to upgrade public service, improve the economic situation, pursue an optimal utilization of human resources and take the necessary measures to address poverty and unemployment.


To encourage broader youth employment in various sectors, particularly agriculture, the prime minister said his government had developed a system to allow agricultural workforce and those self-employed to access social security and medical insurance.


With regard to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Razzaz said the government’s approach in managing the disease is unchanged, saying that “citizens’ health is above any consideration”.


“The goal is clear, which is to control the numbers of infections and deaths, as much as possible, until the end of this pandemic,” the prime minister emphasized.


Until now, the Kingdom remains in a better situation in terms of infection load and mortality rate compared with similarly-populated nations, Razzaz said.


He stressed that the government, acting on the King’s directives, is doing its utmost to ensure that the Kingdom be one of the first countries to procure a COVID-19 vaccine.


He added that the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is designed to prevent further community spread, keep the economic wheel turning along with other key daily life activities, including the resumption of the educational process and most recently the reopening of airports and border crossings.


The prime minister commended firefighters who had battled major forestland fires in Ajloun over the past two days as the Kingdom continues to swelter in a shimmering heat wave.


In his speech broadcast from the National Center for Security and Crisis Management, Razzaz announced the launch of a national afforestation project that envisages the plantation of about 10 million trees over the next few years. He indicated that the project will start from Ajloun’s Ba’oun area.


Addressing the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic here at home and beyond, the prime minister said the global economic situation is “getting worse”, noting that national economies across the globe are projected to slow down by 5 to 15 percent, which, according to Razzaz, will necessarily lead to less jobs and higher unemployment rates.


“Nevertheless, we will not stand idly by these challenges. Our economy is more resilient that other economies,” the premier assured, pledging that the government will press ahead with its programs to stimulate the private sector and lure in investments, especially in promising sectors that proved their importance during the crisis, namely the food and pharmaceutical industries.


The prime minister highlighted a newly-introduced area-specific isolation and lockdown approach, saying the new system allows the coronavirus crisis cell to take prompt and accurate decisions based on geographical data.


However, Razzaz noted, this system will remain open to readjustment and development in the event of an uptick in infection rates, adding that the resumption of economic activity and the reopening of most sectors require technology-based tools to back up epidemiological investigation efforts, and that what contact-tracing app Aman stands for.


In this regard, the prime minister said any person who receives a notification from the application that he/she has come into contact with a confirmed infection will be tested for free at all designated public centers.


Source: Jordan News Agency

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