(Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II
on Wednesday said that comprehensive fiscal
and economic reform must protect the middle
class and low-income people, emphasizing
that citizens shouldn't bear the burden
of tax-exemptions and subsidies which
4 million non-Jordanians benefit from.
His Majesty told a meeting
with the Senate president, members of
permanent office and heads of committees,
that it is no longer possible for the
Jordanian citizens to pay the cost of
hosting refugees, adding that no country
can afford to pay almost 25 per cent of
its national budget to host refugees.
"We are fully aware
of the magnitude of the challenges facing
us in the coming stage, but we must confront
them in order to ensure that the coming
years will be better and easier for the
citizen," His Majesty said.
The King also vowed that
there will be no complacency towards tax
evasion, indicating that the government
will introduce a new tax law imposing
stiffer penalties on tax evasion, instead
of increasing the burden on citizens.
He said tax evasion is a
fundamental issue and must be addressed
clearly and effectively by improving collection
mechanisms and holding tax evaders accountable,
so that the tax burden does not fall on
During the meeting attended
by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al-Hussein
bin Abdullah, the King said he hopes that
next year be a year of recovery from the
repercussions of regional conditions,
including the Syrian refugee crisis and
the closure of export markets, through
the economic stimulus plan and financial
In this context, the King
emphasized that the government should
devise an action plan to implement the
economic stimulus plan and underlined
the importance of cooperation between
the government and the parliament to endorse
legislation related to the plan.
King Abdullah told the senators
that he ordered the government to rationalize
spending, increase the efficiency of institutional
performance and ensure that economic legislation
is revisited every now and then.
His Majesty stressed the
importance of improving the investment
environment and accelerating achievement
in various sectors. He called for supporting
agricultural programs across the governorates
and make full use of the Kingdom's trade
and economic advantages.
The King also called for
keeping away from rumors and avoid rushing
to make judgments through providing clear
information, noting that "there is
a wide spread of false information and
During the meeting, King
Abdullah reviewed the latest developments
related to the peace process and expressed
the hope that U.S. President Donald Trump's
commitment to finding a solution to the
Palestinian issue would translate into
a plan to be laid out in the short term.
The King pointed out that
Jordan and Iraq are working to ensure
that trade exchange and movement return
to normal, saying the reopening of the
Trebil border crossing is a common interest
of the two countries.
For his part, President
of the Senate Faisal al-Fayez said that
Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty
the King, is able to overcome the difficult
circumstances, commending His Majesty's
efforts at the local and international
levels to deal with regional challenges.
Members of the senate's
permanent office and heads of committees
stressed the importance of the government
conducting dialogues with the citizens
and informing them about the magnitude
of the challenges and actions required
to confront them.
They asserted that the poor
must be protected and the middle class
must be expanded through the implementation
of development projects that positively
reflect on their living conditions.
They also emphasized
that vital sectors, such as tourism, industry,
agriculture and construction, should be
given priority in government policies.