Qatar budget spending to jump 18% this year



REUTERS

Published — Tuesday 2 April 2013

Last update 2 April 2013 12:59 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

DOHA: Qatar plans to boost government spending by 18 percent to 210.6 billion riyals ($57.8 billion) in the 2013/14 fiscal year that began on Monday, the QNA state news agency quoted Finance and Economy Minister Youssef Kamal as saying.
Analysts said the planned spending increase suggested that after a slower start than many businessmen had expected, the state was moving to implement a massive infrastructure building program in preparation to host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
“It shows how serious the country is about racheting up infrastructure development to get ready for 2022,” said Farah Ahmed Hersi, senior economist at Masraf al Rayan bank in Doha.
Simon Williams, HSBC’s chief economist for the Gulf, said: “Budgeting in Qatar should be taken as a statement of intent rather than a detailed financial plan.
“This budget makes clear that Qatar not only intends to drive spending upward, it has the means to do so.”
The emir approved a budget with revenues of 218.1 billion riyals and a planned surplus of 7.4 billion, well down from a surplus of 27.7 billion riyals it pencilled in for the previous fiscal year, QNA said.
“The surplus decrease is understandable. When external accounts are that healthy, there is a natural tendency to increase spending, and in doing so, you dig into your surplus. But that’s okay — 7 billion riyals is still quite healthy,” Hersi said.
Williams said he was not concerned by the anticipated surplus decrease.
“The real challenge for them is to execute what’s planned.”
Qatar’s infrastructure building plans envisage spending about $ 140 billion through 2022 on a rail system, a new airport, a seaport, and hundreds of kilometers of major new roads in addition to stadiums for the soccer tournament.
The building plans, which would tax the skills of a much larger country, risk causing bottlenecks, waste and a jump of inflation if they are not managed smoothly.
Kamal said in a statement carried by QNA that the new budget was based on a number of considerations: “The first of which is that there are indications that the world economy is on its way to improvement, despite the fact that these expectations are marred with uncertainty.”
The government decided to keep the oil price which its budgets assume unchanged at $ 65 per barrel, Kamal said. Brent crude oil is currently well above $ 100.
Economic growth in the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas is expected to be more than 4 percent this year, driven by the non-hydrocarbon sector, especially services and construction, Kamal said.
Qatar’s state budget leaped into a large surplus of SR 94.6 billion in the July-September period, the second quarter of its 2012/13 fiscal year, equivalent to 53.9 percent of gross domestic product in that period, preliminary central bank data show.
Analysts polled by Reuters in January forecast Qatar’s budget surplus would be 9.1 percent of GDP for the whole 2012/13 fiscal year, narrowing to 7.5 percent in 2013/14.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, on Thursday led the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia taking part in the meeting of the international coalition countries to coun...
Munich: Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir led the Saudi delegation to the meetings of the International Syria Support Group meetings, taking place here.The meetings, which have begun, in Vienna, exert efforts to find a political so...
Brigadier General Ahmad Al-Assiri, the Military Advisor to the Minister of Defense, asserted the Kingdom is ready to send ground troops to fight Daesh, as soon as the international coalition gives the green light, and that this decision of Saudi Arab...
JAZAN: Seven lives were snuffed out and several others sustained injuries as a gunman went on a killing spree in Al-Dair governorate of Jazan on Thursday. Employees at an education department office came under a hail of bullets resulting in casualtie...
RIYADH: The ongoing Janadriyah national heritage and culture festival welcomed German government representatives as the guests of honor, marking a new era in Saudi-German ties.Detlef Daues, chief executive officer of a German business group, said: “I...
RIYADH: Highlighting the importance of caring, preservation and better maintenance of mosques located along highways in the Kingdom, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Masajedna Foundation will honor excellence in...
ABHA: Women graduates in Asir say they are looking for private companies to hire them for online jobs which can be done at home.They asked businessmen to open new production lines for women in both factories and banks.The women said that this would c...
ABHA: Deviant groups have attempted to attract Saudi women to carry out terrorist operations by various means and in sinister ways.Many women have been found to have been recruited by terrorist groups inside and outside the Kingdom.Islamic scholar Mo...
RIYADH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has written a patriotic poem to inspire Saudi troops at the southern borders.Titled, “I wish to be with you,” the poem infuses encouragement in the hearts and minds of troops guarding the borders in Najran,...
RIYADH: A delegation of senior officials from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) visited the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) to discuss cooperation between the two institutions on sustainable energ...
RIYADH: The Office of the Education Department in eastern Taif has launched a program called “Fatin” which aims to protect students from intellectual threats around them.Fahhad Al-Zuibi, director at the Office for Education said, “The program aims to...
RIYADH: The Taif theater group won two awards when it participated recently in the ninth edition of a theatrical festival in Bahrain. The group, which represented the Kingdom in the theatrical festival, mounted a play production titled “Out of Contro...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the first festival for families with handicapped members at the King Fahd Cultural Center (KFCC) on Wednesday evening. The festival, which will last for three days, features a bazaar that displ...
RIYADH: A separate department to provide enhanced security to the Kingdom’s schools will be set up in all educational regions, Education Minister Ahmad Mohamed Al-Issa announced on Wednesday.Under the new directive, such departments will be establish...
RIYADH: Under a new ministerial ruling, payment of the minimum capital for industrial development is to be abolished.To support industrial development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a ministerial decree eliminating the requirement of t...

Stay Connected

Facebook