The continuation of fuel subsidies for domestic gas, which were supposed to be abolished in February, will keep the pressure on Jordan’s struggling public finances.

According to the last update released by the ministry, the budget deficit is expected to reach JD826m ($1.2bn), or 6.5 per cent of gross domestic product, by the end of 2008 (MEED 4:7:08).

“The 2009 state budget includes the required funds to continue the government’s support of liquid gas sold to the public,” says the ministry, in a statement released on 3 September.

The government scrapped subsidies on petrol and diesel in February, but King Abdullah overturned the government’s decision to abolish subsidies on gas cylinders in March.

Finance Minister Hamad Kasasbeh will present the government’s budget for 2009 to parliament in October.