[size=36]Jordan: The IMF plan needs to reduce the cost of servicing public debt[/size]
Minister Mohamed Al-Asas said that talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new program to replace the extended facility fund that expires in March will focus on efforts to stimulate slow growth, which has recorded nearly two percent during the past ten years.
"We aim to reach understandings with the IMF that guarantee the acceleration of the pace of economic growth," the minister told parliamentarians during a speech in parliament before adopting next year's draft budget of 9.8 billion dinars (14 billion dollars).
He added, "The benefits of public debt constitute a large proportion of our current expenditures, and that its continued growth at an accelerated pace poses a real threat to the sustainability of public finances."
The minister said that growth is expected to rise to 2.2 percent, compared to two percent expected this year, according to IMF estimates.
According to the IMF, economic growth in Jordan has been affected in the past few years by the high rate of unemployment and the impact of the regional conflict on investor confidence.
Al-Assas said that regional factors are responsible for the increase in public debt, which jumped by almost a third in ten years to 30.1 billion dinars (42.4 billion dollars) in 2019, which equals 97 percent of GDP.
In November, the IMF said at the end of a mission to complete the final review of the fund's program that public debt remains “too high” and that “international assistance” will be necessary to enable “sustained growth that supports reforms.” End 29 / p.