Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Jordan says coronavirus will leave 'deep negative impact' on finances

Middle East | 2020-04-08 20:30:35
Jordan says coronavirus will leave 'deep negative impact' on finances
Jordan's state finances will be deeply hurt by a loss of revenue caused by the impact of the coronavirus on its economy but the aid-dependent kingdom will be able to repay its foreign debt obligations, the finance minister said.

Mohammed Al Ississ said in remarks on state television that the government's 2020 budget priorities would also be affected by a steep fall in economic activity as a result of a lockdown ordered to stem the spread of the virus.

"As far as international and domestic (debt) obligations on Jordan and bonds, we have made all the arrangements to honour them when they become due," Al Ississ said.

The country's $42 billion public debt is equivalent to 97 percent of gross domestic product.

The crisis will not prompt the country to scale down public spending in its 9.8 billion dinars ($14 billion) budget for 2020, Al Ississ said, adding this would only accelerate the economic downturn.

But budget priorities would change with a focus on more social spending to ease hardships among low income Jordanians.

The kingdom, which imports almost all its energy needs, hopes however to capitalise on a drop in oil prices to reduce a 2 billion dinars ($2.8 billion) annual bill, Al Ississ said.

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