AMMAN — The government on Wednesday endorsed the draft general budget law for 2024 with estimated public revenues of JD10.3 billion, marking an increase of 8.9 per cent compared with 2023.
Driven by a 10.2 per cent increase in tax revenues of JD7.2 billion, local revenues are estimated to reach JD9.6 billion in 2024 in the draft law, registering an increase of 10 per cent from 2023, without imposing any new levies or increasing existing ones, according to a Prime Ministry statement.
Current and capital expenditure are estimated at JD10.6 billion and JD1.7 billion respectively, the statement said.
As for capital expenditure, it rose by 11.8 per cent from its 2023 level to about JD1.729 billion, “the highest in history”.
Finance Minister Mohamad Al-Ississ said that the government will continue its policies and procedures to expand the tax base and combat tax evasion and avoidance, which would increase income tax revenues by 20 per cent, and consequently boost sales tax by 6.4 per cent.
The increase in local revenues is also attributed to higher non-tax revenues by 9.4 per cent to JD2.3 billion, while estimates show that foreign grants will stand at JD724 million.
The bill included higher allocations to the public debt service, which saw an increase as a result of higher interest rates globally.
Allocations for projects of the Economic Modernisation Vision and Public Sector Modernisation Roadmap accounted for 20.2 per cent of the capital expenditure, while military and security projects accounted for 16.9 per cent of these expenditures.
Municipal development and decentralisation projects accounted for 18 per cent, and other projects accounted for 45 per cent of the total capital expenditure.
The draft budget, for the fourth consecutive year, managed to reduce the preliminary deficit, which the government works to reduce to JD812 million, or by 2.1 per cent of the GDP, compared with 2.6 per cent in 2023.
The total public debt, after excluding debts owed to the Social Security Investment Fund, will go down to 88.3 per cent of the GDP, “before it continues its downwards trend in the coming years to 85.7 per cent in 2026”.
Ississ underlined the government’s ongoing efforts to enhance self-reliance in covering current expenditure from local revenues to reach 90 per cent.
The minister added that the national economy is forecast to register a “real growth” in 2024 by 2.6 per cent, and a nominal growth of 5.1 per cent.
“The economy will maintain moderate inflation rates, which are considered among the lowest in the world, and will contribute to boosting financial and monetary stability and protecting the purchase power of citizens.”
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