Construction sector in Jordan on shaky grounds as pandemic-induced losses mount

The sector had been dealing with several issues

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A construction worker builds stones at the one of the turrets at the site of the Abdali Project in Amman June 24, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A construction worker builds stones at the one of the turrets at the site of the Abdali Project in Amman June 24, 2010.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN - The construction sector has incurred heavy losses, amounting to about JD100 million due to the COVID pandemic, according to President of the Jordanian Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) Ahmad Yaqoub.

Yaqoub noted that the sector had been dealing with several issues, including income taxes, even before the pandemic, which further worsened afterwards.

According to Yaqoub, the construction sector is “heavily suffering and nearly dead” as a result of the pandemic. “We have lost many equipment which we had to leave in the streets during lockdowns. We could not pay our employees, and there has been no support or compensation from the government,” Yaqoub told The Jordan Times on Monday.

He pointed out that the prices of construction materials have suddenly risen by roughly 45 to 55 per cent due to the rise in shipping prices.

“The huge price hike of the materials will be discussed with the Amman Chamber of Industry, because this sector is the spine of the Kingdom’s economy. It employs more than a third of Jordan’s population, it is important to recognise the magnitude of the damage inflicted on many Jordanian families, as their dues were paid at the expense of private sector representatives, “ Yaqoub said.

The JCCA president expressed hope that the banks would support the sector through fair interest rates.

Yaqoub pointed out that under government directions, the Jordanian contractors sector began participating in regional reconstruction projects three years ago. However the rate of participation has decreased by 60 per cent due to the damage the sector is suffering from.

“All of the sector’s issues must be resolved before it can reestablish itself. Contractors’ economic condition is deteriorating, and there has been little to no investments,” he added.

Yaqoub said that a meeting is being scheduled with Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh to discuss the concerns of the sector, expressing hope that a new defence order will be issued to save the sector.

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