‘Gov’t created more than 8,000 jobs out of pledged total so far’

April 10, 2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Tuesday said that the government has so far provided 8,216 jobs of the 30,000 opportunities it pledged to create in 2019. 
"Of the total 8,216 Jordanians who have been provided with jobs during the first quarter of this year, 5,239 have already subscribed to the Social Security Corporation," Razzaz said.
The premier's remarks came at a press conference on Tuesday to outline the outcomes of his government's action programme 2019-2020 achieved during the first quarter of this year.
Razzaz also said that there are 8,000 job vacancies available in the public sector, 6,240 of which are to be filled in 2019, noting that the call for applications will be announced on Thursday.
The premier added that job creation falls within “enhancing the Kingdom’s productivity” component of the government’s action programme, which is also based on the state of law and solidarity. 
Razzaz also said that the security bodies have started interviewing young people to fill their workforce needs.
Another 4,842 jobs will be created through a set of governmental projects in infrastructure and construction implemented by the private sector across the Kingdom. 
“These projects and the emerging jobs are not permanent but will empower the young people with experience and skills,” the prime minister said.
He explained that encouraging entrepreneurship and helping the youth start their own business ventures is a key priority for the government that also falls within the productive state component.
Razzaz said that the National Service and the “Basma” programmes are also part of the government’s endeavour to qualify young people and improve their skills to join the labour market. 
He also voiced commitment to realising the pledged 30,000 jobs, “and more”, during the next two years, through cooperation with the private sector and other stakeholders. 
“This figure remains modest when there are more than 380,000 jobless Jordanians,” Razzaz told the press.
The premier also noted that a positive level of economic growth has been achieved during the first quarter of this year despite the difficult regional circumstances. 
National exports have increased by 13.6 per cent in January of this year compared with the same period last year, while the capital of registered companies and the number of individual companies have increased by 34 per cent and 14 per cent respectively during the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, Razzaz said.
He added that the profits of companies registered at the Amman Stock Exchange saw an increase of 41 per cent to reach JD1.7 billion in 2018, compared with JD850 million in 2017.
The premier indicated that the new Income Tax Law, “which was received with public dismay”, has helped curb tax evasion and thus increased revenues by 62 per cent to JD21 million during the first quarter of this year, compared with JD13 million during the same period last year.
He also said that the capital expenditure allocations for governorates have been increased from JD227 million in 2018 to JD303 million in 2019 “despite the government’s austerity measures”.  
On the state of law component, Razzaz said that the government has taken a number of steps towards enhancing integrity, including amendments to the Illicit Gains Law to expand the base of public employees subject to its provisions, as well as amendments to the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC) Law that expand the monitoring agency’s jurisdiction.
He also said that the government has referred a total of 81 suspected corruption cases to the JIACC during the first three months of this year.
The government has also changed the appointment criterion in senior public positions to achieve more transparency, Razzaz said, adding that, under the current by-laws, ministers cannot recommend names of candidates to senior government posts, as was the case before.
In line with His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives to the government to increase Jordanians’ participation in the decision making process and give them more say on identifying the development needs of their regions through the decentralisation project, Razzaz said that the value of financial authorisation to governorate councils increased from JD200,000 to JD1 million, and sometimes reaching JD2 million, depending on the level of transparency and efficiency in the process of project implementation.
Responding to a question on poverty levels in the country, Razzaz said that the government is keen on addressing poverty as a phenomenon rather than “mere figures”, adding that the rate of “absolute poverty” in the Kingdom stands at 15.7 per cent.
Jordan Times 
10 April 2019