|Sovereign institutions! |
* The government’s sovereign institutions will have JD 561.6 million in 2003. According to the Finance Ministry’s newsletter, these institutions are expected to receive JD 287.6 million in revenues this year, an increase of 8 percent over 2002. Expenditures are also expected to increase by 7 percent to JD 243 million. Sovereign institutions include the Water Authority, Radio and Television Corp, the Higher Youth Council and all the regulatory commissions in the Kingdom. The Finance Ministry indicated the sovereign institutions will receive JD 102 million in loans from local and international organizations.
Mending snow losses
* Ministry of Public Works and Housing is allocating JD 60 million to fix the damages that happened in the Kingdom during the recent snowstorm in February. Most of the damages were in infrastructure, including streets, public parks and road junctions. The money was made available after studies by a Cabinet committee to assess the damages in the Kingdom. The ministry is working on a long-term strategy until 2020 to develop highway infrastructures in Amman and other major cities in the Kingdom. It aims to develop new roads and highways to link all the areas in the country.
Cement solidifying profits
* The Jordan Cement Factories Co (JCFC) made JD 14.3 million in profits last year, compared to JD 9.14 million in 2001. The company sold cement worth JD 126 million, and made net revenues of JD 52.8 million. The JCFC’s assets increased in 2002 by 1.1 percent to JD 169.5 million, while operational profits increased by 75.7 percent to JD 22.7 million. Sources at the company indicate the rapid growth in the JCFC’s profits last year is due to the increase in exports and the opening of new markets in East Asia and Africa.
Refreshing the Dead Sea
* Investments are underway at the eastern shore of the Dead Sea to develop the area’s touristic and social aspects. These investments are estimated at JD 250 million. The government is working on a 10-year plan to revive tourism in the area, which includes building new hotels, touristic villages, public parks and health spas. The Jordan Valley Authority formed a new unit to conduct these investments, and supervise the development of the infrastructure projects in the area. So far, the authority spent more than JD 25 million on these projects, including a 7-km highway. A British-Jordanian company leased lands at the area earlier this year at $35 million to build a five-star hotel.
A gas pipeline
* The construction of the 245-km gas pipeline between the Egyptian seaport Taba and Aqaba is expected to finish by the end of March. Facility operations at the project worth $75 million. Minister of Energy Mohammed Batayneh said the construction will continue to extend the pipeline to the north. Batayneh said the 370-km pipeline between Aqaba and Rihab in the north will start operation by mid-2005. The construction works in Jordan worth $235 million.
Arab Bank’s Internet campaign
* The Arab Bank launched a new marketing campaign in the Palestinian territories to spread the IT-related knowledge among the people there. The campaign is a joint effort providing banking facilities to buy PCs and having Internet subscription with 50 percent discount. The campaign is organized jointly with the Palestinian Internet Company (PalNet) and the Ramallah-based Safad Electronic Applications Co. Sources at the Arab Bank said the campaign aims at enhancing IT culture among Palestinians.