The government plans to spend around JD4.7 billion ($6.6 billion) on capital projects in governorates over the coming three years, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif announced.
Saif explained that the governorates development program for 2013-2016 seeks to meet the priorities and needs of each governorate, and aims to reduce the development gap between areas across the Kingdom, adding that the list of projects were selected by a 23-strong team made up of government officials, representatives from the private sector and civil society organizations, in addition to residents and representatives of local communities.
Around 1,450 people from 12 governorates participated in the selection process of the development schemes on their areas' needs, he noted, adding that these projects will be listed in the state budgets.
According to the minister, who was speaking at a press meeting, the overall value of the projects reached JD5.86 billion, which means there will be a funding gap of around JD1.17 billion.
There will be a list of projects the government secured financing for and another list for the schemes authorities will work on raising funds for, Saif said, noting that the government is committed to spending JD4.7 billion on the development of governorates over the next three years.
The minister indicated that the program will be launched in Madaba when Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and a team of ministers visit the central governorate to listen to residents views on the type of projects the governorate needs.
A team of ministers will also be visiting all governorates during this month to finalize the lists of development schemes, so they can be ready in October when budget planners start preparing the government spending bill for 2014, Saif added.
On the type of projects, the minister said they will mainly be infrastructure and service schemes that seek to generate jobs and to prepare governorates for private sector investments.
"These projects will be implemented by local contractors to stimulate the construction sector in the country," the official said.
According to figures provided by the Planning Ministry, Zarqa will receive the biggest share of the funds of 17 per cent with projects valued at JD798 million.
Amman is next in terms of spending volumes with JD729 million, or 15.5 per cent, followed by Aqaba with JD478 million, Irbid (JD444 million), Balqa (JD392 million), Maan (JD334 million), Ajloun (JD321 million), Mafraq (JD303 million), Madaba (JD263 million), Tafileh (JD218 million), Karak (JD208 million) and Jerash (JD206 million), according to the figures.