by Omar Obeidat
Jul. 16/2012 - AMMAN – The government plans to implement a total of 1,801 development projects in 10 governorates over three years to create around 107,600 job opportunities, an official report showed Sunday.
According to the governorate development programme for 2012-2014, announced by Planning Minister Jafar Hassan Sunday, government spending in the governorates will reach JD651.3 million this year, JD655.4 million next year and JD255.2 million in 2014.
Overall spending will total JD1.559 billion as there would be a financial shortfall of JD314.9 million to meet estimated costs of development needs and demands for the governorates.
Amman and Aqaba are excluded from the programme.
In a bid to create another 248,000 jobs for unemployed residents and to absorb young people entering the labour market, nearly 2,791 projects need to be implemented, according to the report.
This will make the overall number of projects stand at 4,684 to create 355,600 employment opportunities.
The cost of additional projects is JD4.29 billion, according to the report.
Over the three-year programme, Zarqa Governorate will top the list in terms of spending (JD489.9 million), followed by the northern governorate of Irbid (JD204.9 million) and Karak in the south (JD152.8 million).
Maan and Madaba will receive the least funds with JD52.9 million and JD58.1 million, while allocations for the southern governorate of Tafileh will be JD59.4 million.
The programme is expected to create 32,300 jobs in Irbid, 12,200 in Balqa, 11,300 in Mafraq and 10,600 in Karak.
In regards to the number of development projects in each governorate, Mafraq is set to benefit from 618 projects followed by Maan with 203 and Irbid with 177 projects over the three-year period.
At a meeting attended by governors, Hassan noted that the development programme depends on the advantages and characteristics of each governorate, adding that the plan will help the government identify the priorities of each area.
He pointed out that the Cabinet has endorsed the programme as a reference for development strategies.
“Setting development priorities for each governorate is only the start,” Hassan said, saying the implementation and securing needed funds will be the real challenge.
In regards to additional projects that need to be implemented, the minister said partnering with the private sector is a key to create jobs to lower unemployment rates and absorb new job seekers.