Dubai unveils budget with slight spending rise

Updated 01 January 2013
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Dubai unveils budget with slight spending rise

DUBAI: Dubai's government unveiled its budget for 2013 yesterday, setting expenditure at 34.12 billion dirhams ($ 9.3 billion) and a deficit at 0.5 percent of gross domestic product.
Expenditure was forecast only slightly up from 33.68 billion dirhams in this year's budget, while revenues were expected to amount to 32.62 billion dirhams, up from 29.91 billion dirhams in 2012, it said in a statement.
The budget forecast the deficit to drop to 1.48 billion dirhams, compared with 3.778 billion dirhams predicted for this year.
The Dubai government said the focus of the budget was "on a prudent fiscal policy that provides the stimuli necessary to economic growth".
The debt-laden Gulf emirate allocated six percent of spending to debt servicing, while 26 percent would be channeled into health, education, housing and social developments.
Sixteen percent of expenditure has been set aside for the completion of infrastructure and development projects.
Abdul Rahman Al-Saleh, the finance department director general, said the budget emphasized a preference to expand expenditure to support the economy but "without sacrificing the strategic objectives... of reducing the deficit".
Government fees would represent 62 percent of revenues, while customs and taxes on foreign banks would account for 23 percent. Dubai does not impose a tax on income.
Net oil income amounted to 12 percent of total revenues, the statement said.
The government did not release figures for actual revenues and expenditure in 2012.
Dubai's economy contracted 2.4 percent in 2009 when it rattled global markets over its debt crisis before receiving a $ 10-billion bailout from Abu Dhabi, its oil-rich partner in the Emirates, and reaching restructuring deals with lenders.
The economy has since made a comeback, growing 2.8 percent in 2010, 3.4 percent in 2011, and 4.1 percent on an annual basis in the first half of this year, as tourism, trade and transport keep expanding.


Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Updated 10 December 2018
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Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Reuters BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Sunday of “catastrophic consequences” if production at the El Sharara oilfield is brought to a complete halt by a tribal protest.
Should the 315,000 barrel-a-day field shut down, it would take a long time to bring it back on stream and production from another field would also be affected, the state oil firm said.
“Shutting down production at the El Sharara field will have catastrophic, long-term consequences. It would take a long time to resume production because of the sabotage and theft that are likely to happen,” NOC said in a statement.
Tribesmen stormed into the field premises on Saturday, saying their southern Fezzan region had suffered decades of neglect and demanding that the revenue from the oil produced at local fields be used to fund development projects.
NOC said that the storage tanks at the field would be completely full within hours of its statement, forcing the field to shut down as it cannot pump the crude out to processing facilities.
The company described the protesters as “criminals” because they had stopped the pumps from functioning.
“The company would then have to implement an emergency plan to evacuate the staff from the field,” it said in a statement.
If El Sharara stops operating, production at the El Feel oilfield, also in southern Libya, would also stop because El Sharara supplies it with power and the supply to the Zawiya refinery on the coast would also be interrupted, it said.
NOC accused security guards on Saturday of having facilitated the “occupation” of the field.
The tribesmen call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement. Their spokesman, Mohamed Maighal, said that they would allow crude oil already extracted to be put into storage tanks, but would then force production to be stopped.
NOC has previously tried to avert such action through talks.