Qatar 2018 budget sees rise in spending, smaller deficit| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 04 February 2023 04:23 GMT

Qatar 2018 budget sees rise in spending, smaller deficit


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha: Qatar's 2018 budget plan, released on Tuesday, projects slightly higher spending and a marginally smaller deficit than this year's plan.
QR29 billion worth of new projects are expected to be signed in 2018 and major projects are assigned 45.8% of total expenditure.

The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani has issued Law Number (25) of the year 2017, endorsing the State Budget for 2018 commencing on January 1, 2018.

The 2018 budget assumes the same conservative oil price of $45/barrel as used for the 2017 budget. Revenue is anticipated to reach QR175.1 billion, up by 2.9%, compared with 2017, mainly due to an expected increase in non-oil revenue.

Spending is expected to total 203.2 billion riyals ($55.8 billion), up 2.4 percent from the budget plan for 2017, with the deficit declining 1.1 percent to 28.1 billion riyals. The deficit will be financed through the issuance of debt.

Allocations for salaries and wages have increased by 8.8% to QR52.2 billion, from QR48.0 billion in 2017. This increase is attributed to the launch of a number of new schools and educational facilities, along with new healthcare centers and hospitals in addition to expansions in some public facilities.

The Minister of Finance H E Ali Shareef Al Emadi emphasized that the 2018 budget achieves efficiency in current expenditure, while maintaining allocations to major projects that contribute to Qatar's development. He added that the budget is aligned with the Qatar 2030 Vision (QNV 2030), which focuses on economic, social, human and environmental development.

The 2018 budget also focuses on supporting food security projects, small and medium enterprises and the development of infrastructure in economic and free-trade zones.

Allocations for major projects remained at similar level as in 2017 and amounted to QR93 billion, representing 45.8% - the largest share of total expenditure. The focus continues to be on the completion of projects in healthcare, education and transportation sectors, along with those related to 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Total allocations for health, education and transportation reached QR83.5 billion or 41% of total expenditure. In addition, new contracts aimed at supporting growth in the private sector worth QR29.0 billion are expected to be awarded in 2018.

A total of QR12.5 billion has been allocated to land development for nationals in the three year period between 2018-20. This includes water and electricity networks, sewerage, roads and other related infrastructure.

The 2018 budget has allocated funds for the development of 3,000 residences for nationals. This year's budget also provides for the development of logistics, economic and free-trade zones, as well as support for food security projects and agricultural production.

Health sector
Allocations for the health sector were QR22.7 billion, representing 11.2% of the total expenditure in 2018. Major projects to improve health care services include:
• Expansions in Hamad Medical Corporation facilities
• Expansions in primary health care centers
• Expansions in Emergency Hospital
• The establishment of new health centers, costing QR2.9 billion over 5 years

Education sector
The education sector is witnessing a major expansion with a total allocation of QR19.0 billion in the 2018 budget, up by 19% compared to 2017. Major projects in the education sector currently underway include:
• Facilities in the medicine, pharmacology, engineering and law colleges of Qatar University
• Expansions in Education City
• The establishment of new schools with a total cost of QR6.8 billion over 5 years

Transportation & Infrastructure
The transportation and other infrastructure projects were assigned the largest share in the 2018 budget with allocations of QR42.0 billion, 21% of total expenditure. These projects include:
• The Metro
• Lusail Light Train
• Al Bustan Highway
• Orbiter Expressway
• Al Rayyan / Dukhan road
• Al Khor Coastal Road
• Expansions in the water and electricity networks
• Development of infrastructure in existing areas

Sports and World Cup projects
Sports sector and 2022 FIFA World Cup projects amounte to a total allocation of QR11.2 billion. These are primarily focusd on the completion of stadiums in Lusail, Qatar Foundation, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah and Al Khor in addition to other sport projects.

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