The Lower House on Monday continued its deliberations on the 2022 draft law for the regulation of the investment environment.

During the session, headed by Lower House Speaker Abdulkarim Dughmi and attended by Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh and Cabinet members, the Chamber endorsed several items of the bill as referred by the House's Economy and Investment Committee after MPs offered suggestions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

As per the draft law, the House approved the formation of an investment council under the presidency of the prime minister, with the investment minister as deputy president and the membership of the ministers of planning and international cooperation, finance, industry, trade and supply and digital economy and entrepreneurship alongside the governor of the Central Bank of Jordan and the chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.

Other members include the chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Industry and four representatives of the private sector, which is set to include at least one businesswoman, and three representatives from the agricultural, tourism and financial services sectors.

These members, under the bill, shall be nominated by a Cabinet decision upon a recommendation from the prime minister for a renewable two-year term. Additionally, the membership of any member can be terminated by appointing a substitute who will continue until the end of the two-year term.

The investment council, under the draft law, will be responsible for several tasks, including the endorsement of investment policy that includes targeted priority sectors and projects in accordance with the general policy of the state, the economic vision and economic and social plans, and executive programmes.

The council will also be tasked with endorsing the investment map of the Kingdom and following up on its progress in addition to discussing reports concerned with the implementation of investment plans, strategies and programmes.

The council will also be responsible for the implementation of necessary procedures for the development of the Kingdom’s investment environment and will recommend legislative and organisational amendments necessary to improve the said environment.

As per the draft law, the council will be tasked with solving disputes that might arise among official institutions in the investment environment and other investment-related issues, except in the case of issues that are under the authority of the Investment Ministry.

Moreover, the legislators approved the exemption of fixed assets, production inputs and spare parts from duty fees, despite what is stated in the Customs Law, Petra added.

The MPs also approved reducing tax dues by no less than 30 per cent on economic activities in underprivileged areas or for projects that employ no less than 250 Jordanians for a five-year period.

So far, the MPs have approved 12 articles out of the 52 proposed drafts.

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