Jordan’s public debt, both external and domestic rose by 12 per cent in the first half of this year mainly because of higher costs for producing electrity, according to official figures.
Disruption in the flow of Egyptian gas as a result of sabotage of the gas pipeline in the Sinai has forced Jordan to use far more expensive diesel to fuel its power generators. This has pushed the country’s fuel costs to more than $5.5 billion.
Ministry of finance figures showed that the country’s public debt stood at 15.016 billion dinars ($21.11 billion) at the end of the first half of this year, driven by increasing guarantees for public institutions’ debts, mainly the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).
The National Electric Power Company debts guaranteed by the government, which are a tranche of domestic debt, amounted to around 1.63 billion dinars at the end of June 2012.
Computed separately, the domestic public debt rose during the first half of this year to 10.402 billion dinars compared with 8.915 billion dinars at the end of 2011.
External public debt also rose, albeit slightly, to 4.491 billion dinars by the end of June 2012, compared with 4.487 billion dinars at the end of 2011.
Public debt, both domestic and external, was 13.4 billion dinars at the end of 2011, according to ministry figures.
The budget deficit dropped at the end of the first half of 2012 to 441.7 million dinars compared with 575.1 million dinars at the end of the first half of 2011.
The budget deficit is the outcome of the difference between public revenues and expenditures. At the end of June, total public revenues, including foreign grants, stood at 2,504.2 million dinars while public expenditures amounted to 2,92 billion dinars.
Tax revenues rose at the end of July by 7.3 per cent, empowered by income tax revenues as they topped those generated by sales tax.
By the end of July, tax revenues totalled 1.842 billion dinars compared with 1.716 billion dinars recorded at the end of the same month last year.