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The Public Debt Law
 
  

Article (1)

This Law shall be called “The Public Debt Management Law of 2001” and shall enter into force upon its publication in The Official Gazette.

Article (2)

The following terms and phrases, wherever they appear in this law, shall have the meaning assigned to them below unless the context otherwise indicates:

Government

The Ministries and Government Departments listed in the General Budget Law.

Committee

The Higher Ministerial Committee formed in accordance with this law to manage the public debt.

Ministry

The Ministry of Finance.

Minister

The Minister of Finance.

The Central Bank

The Central Bank of Jordan.

Governor

The Governor of the Central Bank.

Directorate

The Public Debt Directorate of the Ministry .

Public debt

The Outstanding balance of unpaid direct and indirect obligations valued in Jordanian Dinars payable by the Government

External debt

The Public debt payable in foreign currency.

Domestic debt

The Public debt payable in Jordanian Dinar.

Register

The Register of Government securities prepared in accordance with article (5) of this law.

Registered bond

The Public debt instrument whose nominal value is registered in the name of its owner in the Register.

Treasury bill

A promissory note issued by the Government and whose nominal value is registered in the name of its owner in the Register.

Government Securities

A Registered bonds and treasury bills issued in accordance with the provisions of this law.

* This Law was published on July 16 th , 2001 in issue No. 4496 of the Official Gazette.

Article (3)

I.  The formed Committee shall be chaired by the Minister with the membership of both the Minister of Planning and the Governor.

II.  The Committee shall have the following duties and rights which should be raised to the Council pf Ministers for ratification :

 1.Establish the general framework of policies and strategies for public debt management.

  2.Determine clear long and short – term objectives for public debt management.

  3.Review the suggestions and recommendations of the concerned Government authorities and Directorates and make the appropriate decisions in this respect.

  4.Any other tasks deemed necessary to achieve its objectives.


Article (4)

The Committee shall convene every three months by an invitation of its chairman and whenever needed. The meeting shall not be legal unless all members attend.

Article (5)

I. A register called “ The Government Securities Register” shall be established at the Central Bank and shall in particular contain the following:

  1.The name of the owner of the Government security.

  2.Any change in the ownership, mortgage or attachment of the security.

II.  The Register may be maintained electronically and the data issued and signed by the officer in charge of the Register shall be considered equivalent to official securities.


Article (6)

On the effective date of this Law, registrations related to government securities shall be incorporated in the “Register” and shall be considered a complementary part thereof, and the verification of the entries shall be subject to the clauses of the Law at the time of their registrations.

Article (7)

The Central Bank shall exchange tangible or electronic data on a daily basis with the Securities Deposit Center and dealers in Government securities to ensures the uniformity of the data recorded by all the entities, and for this purpose, data shall be matched on a monthly basis.

Article (8)

The entries of dealings in the Government securities shall be considered evidence of their ownership.


Borrowing

Article (9)

I.  Taking into consideration the contents of any other related law, the Minister shall be authorized by the Council of Ministers to borrow on behalf of the Government in accordance with the provisions of this law provided that an approval of the Council of Ministers is obtained on each case of borrowing.

II.  Despite of what is stated in paragraph (A) of this article, the Minister of Planning may, in accordance with the Minister, borrow in accordance with the National Planning Council Law, provided that the Council of Ministers approval is acquired through a joint recommendation from the Ministers of Finance and Planning.

III.  The various Government agencies shall be committed to provide the Directorate with all data related to their public debt.

Article (10)

Government borrowing shall be restricted to the following objectives:

I.  To finance the General Budget Deficit.

II.  To support the Balance of Payments.

III.  To finance projects of national priority that are included in the General Budget.

IV.  To provide the necessary funds listed in the General Budget or any temporary law issued to deal with disasters and emergencies.

V. To restructure the internal and external debt.

Article (11)

I.  Upon recommendation from the Committee, the Government may borrow by issuing Government securities including direct borrowing in a currency other than the Jordanian Dinar.

II.  The Minister shall, upon consultation with the Governor decide the annual plan for issuing public debt, and announce it including the terms of subscription in it. And he may , in the same way make amendments to this plan.

III.  The Minister shall, upon consultation with the Governor determine the terms for issuing the Government securities.


Article (12)

I.  The total nominal value of any of Government securities issuance shall be determined within the provisions governing that issuance.

II.  The maturity period of Government securities shall not exceed 30 years from the date of its issuance.

Article (13)

The Governor shall issue directives on the conditions for authorizing persons to deal in the primary market for Government securities.



Article (14)

Sufficient funds to meet public debt and its obligations shall be included in the General Budget Law.

Article (15)

If the date of repayments of any public debt amount coincides with an official holiday of the Government or commercial banks, debt re-payment shall be made on the next working day.

Article (16)

The Central Bank shall be responsible for public debt issuance and the Governor shall, in an agreed upon manner, provide the Minister with reports on the situation of this debt.

Article (17)

Government securities shall be traded in the Amman Stock Exchange and may be traded elsewhere.

Article (18)

The Government shall not provide financial guarantees for any party except in exceptional and justified cases for investment related to the projects of national interest and Government entities provided that the Council of Ministers, upon recommendations from the Minister, approves the issuance of such guarantees.

Article (19)

The public debt represents an absolute and unconditional obligation by the Government and therefore Government securities and Government loans are considered equivalent in terms of their payments priority.

Public Debt

Article (20)

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the Government domestic borrowing shall be carried out by issuing Government securities and the Government shall be prohibited from direct domestic borrowing from commercial banks or any other institutions.

Article (21)

The outstanding domestic public debt may not, at any time, exceed (60%) of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices of the latest year for which data is available.

Article (22)

The outstanding external public debt may not, at any time, exceed (60%) of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices of the latest year for which data is available.

Article (23)

Despite of any notwithstanding provisions of any other law, the total outstanding public debt may not may not, at any time, exceed (80%) of (GDP) at current prices of the latest year for which data is available.

General Provisions

Article (24)

The provisions of article (22) and Article (23) shall enter into force on the date approved by the Council of Ministers.

Article (25)

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other legislation or any contradictory clauses in this law, the Government debt due to the Central Bank shall not exceed the outstanding debt on the date this law enters into force.

Article (26)

The Public Debt Law Number (1) of 1971 and all its amendments are abolished.

Article (27)

The Prime Minister and the Ministers are committed to execute the provisions of this law.



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