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Jordan: IMF's interventions spark confrontation between government and parliament

International Monetary Fund (IMF) [World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr]
International Monetary Fund (IMF) [World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr]

The International Monetary Fund's interventions in the amended income tax bill, announced by the Jordanian government on 11 September, sparked an early confrontation between the government and parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister Rajai Al-Muasher said in a televised statement, on Thursday, that the IMF had demanded from the government that the Jordanian House of Representatives should approve (First Chamber of Parliament) of the current draft tax law.

Al-Muasher's statements provoked the speaker for Jordan's House of Representatives, Atef Al-Tarawneh.

Al-Tarawneh responded on Al-Muasher's comments saying that " the House of Representatives does not abide by the IMF's instructions and dictations, and we will take into account only Jordan's national interest in the course of reviewing the amendments on the tax law."

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He added: "We are surprised by the statements of Deputy Prime Minister Rajai Al-Muasher that involve the House of Representatives in the government's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund."

Al-Tarawneh also indicated that "the decisions taken inside Jordan's House of Representatives, concerning the amendments on the tax bill, will be fully independent and autonomous. Maintaining the continuity and cohesion of middle and lower classes is a top priority for us."

The speaker for Jordan's House of Representatives addressed the government saying that "the governmental duty protocol requires the authorities today to conduct a comprehensive review of the system and the tax burden in an integrated manner."

Local media reported the government's intention to submit the amended income tax bill to the House of Representatives next week after completing consultation rounds in the Kingdom's provinces.

The tax bill sparked controversy in the kingdom after the previous government approved it in late May. Such decision ignited a wave of popular protests which resulted in sacking former Prime Minister Hani Mulki.

IMFInternational OrganisationsJordanMiddle EastNews
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