IMF urges Jordan to maintain economic stability, reduce fiscal imbalance

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AMMAN, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that the Jordan should give priority to maintaining economic stability and reducing fiscal imbalance in the coming years.

In a statement released by IMF after it completed its visit to Jordan, the international organization also urged the kingdom to boost growth, create jobs and strengthen social protection.

The Jordanian authorities have taken important steps to improve the business climate, making Jordan one of the world's top three improvers according to the World Bank's Doing Business Indicators, the IMF statement said.

The statement said the two sides also discussed a new three-year program that could be supported by the IMF.

"As these (priorities for the coming years) cannot be achieved fully in the remaining months of the current IMF-supported program, discussions began on a new three-year program that could be supported by the IMF," Chris Jarvis, IMF chief of mission to Jordan, said in the statement.

"Fiscal consolidation has been slower than envisaged. Yields from efforts to broaden the tax base and mobilize revenues to support Jordan's fiscal and development needs have fallen short of expectations," Jarvis noted.

He referred to electricity-sector reforms as vital for Jordan, with an energy-sector roadmap as the essential first step in placing the National Electric Power Company's finances on a firmer footing.

In 2016, Jordan reached a 36-month financial support deal worth 700 million U.S. dollars with the IMF to embark on reforms to reduce public debt and conduct fiscal reforms. Enditem

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