By JT – Jul 05,2022

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Administration Tawfiq Kreishan during a meeting over a new solar panel project on Tuesday in Zarqa governorate (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Local Administration Ministry will help municipalities benefit from alternative energy through a solar panels project, which is scheduled to be implemented through a 90 million-euro loan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Administration Tawfiq Kreishan said on Tuesday.

During a meeting in Zarqa, Kreishan added that the loan will be provided in half by the Cities and Villages Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, adding that the project can be implemented across the Kingdom to help municipalities reduce their power bills, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to lowering municipalities’ fuel subsidy shares, but the shares will later be increased to JD150 million.

The minister stressed the importance of the Zarqa Municipality to pay more attention to investment and development projects and to stimulate joint investments with the private sector, noting that the municipality’s total debt volume amounts to JD300 million, while at the same time it has debts on citizens and other institutions by about JD350 million.

Kreishan also referred to shortcomings in several municipalities that consume most of their budgets, such as failed investments and power bills that account for 15 to 20 per cent of their budgets.  

Director of the Cities and Villages Development Bank Osamah Azzam said that the financial indicator of the Zarqa Municipality shows a “high level of danger” due to its large debt and commitments, calling on all stakeholders to cooperate to overcome this “critical situation” and reduce the power bill through the solar cells project and replacing conventional light bulbs with those that are energy efficient. 

The Zarqa mayor said that the municipality suffers from a large debt that reaches some JD65 million at a time when the citizens and companies’ debts to the municipality range between JD20 million to JD22 million, in addition to suffering from random position appointments that have depleted the municipality’s financial resources.