National fiscal, economic reform program to be announced soon

Amman, The government will soon announce a national program for financial and economic reform, primarily addressing structural imbalances in three main sectors: energy, transport and finance, an official source announced Saturday.

The perspective program is aimed at cutting costs borne by the national economy and spurring economic growth.

According to the source, the discussion and adoption of the reform program will involve government, parliamentary and private sector stakeholders.

The program aims at reforming the electricity tariff system by reviewing the purchase price agreed upon between the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) and the power generation companies, reforming the transport sector, thereby reducing the cost of transporting people and goods on the national economy, especially in light of the high cost of transportation between the port of Aqaba and the rest of the Kingdom.

It also includes corporate financing to ensure that the cost of borrowing on targeted activities in the private sector is reduced provided that the government bears interest rate difference.

With regard to a World Bank (WB) loan currently being negotiated by the government, the source said talks had reached an advanced stage on the $1.2 billion loan with the WB.

The agreement for the first part of the loan, worth $950 million, is expected to be signed in June, and the remaining part of $250 million in October.

According to the source, the loan will be used to repay $1 billion of Eurobonds due in June and another loan guaranteed by the British and Saudi governments, which is part of the London conference’s pledges.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Jordanian couple missing in Syria return home

Amman, A Jordanian man and his wife who have been missing in Syria for a week returned home Saturday hours after being released by Syrian authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced.

Ministry spokesperson Sufian al-Qudah said the couple, who were have been missing since last Saturday, crossed back into Jordan via the Jaber border crossing a short time ago after they were set free Friday evening.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Jordan participates in World Health Assembly 72nd session in Geneva

Amman, Minister of Health Dr. Saad Jaber will chair the Jordanian delegation participating in the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly, meeting of ministers of health in the Eastern Mediterranean region’s countries and the meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health held in Geneva from May 19 to 28.

The Jordanian delegation includes the Secretary General of the Higher Health Council, Dr. Mohammad Al-Tarawneh, the Permanent Representative of Jordan in Geneva, Ambassador Saja Majali, and the Health Affairs Officer at the Delegation Uday Al-Qaralah.

The 72th session of the World Health Assembly will discuss issues on health, environment, climate change and the availability of medicines and vaccines, as well as following up on issues related to antimicrobial resistance, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and termination of tuberculosis (TB), the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The meeting will also address technical issues on readiness framework to confront the influenza pandemic, Member States’ mechanism on dealing with low-quality and counterfeit medical products, promoting health conditions of refugees and migrants, and patients’ safety and eradication of smallpox and the global strategy on women,children, adults health and emergency care.

Source: Jordan News Agency

UAE Ambassador hosts Ramadan Iftar in Kazakhstan.

UAE Ambassador to Kazakhstan Dr. Mohammed Ahmed bin Sultan Al Jaber, has hosted a Ramadan Iftar, attended by Serikbay kazhy Oraza, the Supreme Mufti of Kazakhstan, and heads of Arab, Islamic and Foreign diplomatic missions to the Central Asian nation, along with government representatives and dignitaries.

The function, attended by Rashid Ali Al Mehrizi, Military Attache at the embassy, occasioned an exchange of cordial talk about the advent of the Holy Month.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Moderate weather expected over next two days

Amman, A tangible drop in temperatures is expected on Saturday becoming around their seasonal average. Therefore, moderate conditions will prevail in hilly areas while it will be relatively hot in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea with north westerly moderate to brisk winds, according to Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD).

Similar conditions will continue across the Kingdom tomorrow during daytime while it will be cool at night with north westerly moderate winds.

Temperatures in Amman for today will range between a high of 28 degrees Celsius and a low of 15 degrees while mercury levels in Aqaba will register a high of 37 degrees dropping down to 21 degrees at night.

Source: Jordan News Agency

589 wanted on financial, criminal offenses nabbed

Amman, Judicial enforcement officers have arrested 589 people who were wanted on financial and other criminal charges in a nation-wide crackdown last week, according to the Public Security Department.

The department’s media spokesperson said that one of the judicial warrants was against a fugitive wanted on 24 criminal charges, as well as four people wanted on 35 financial charges, totaling about 604,000 dinars.

Source: Jordan News Agency