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Oman’s budget expenditure poised to rise 5 per cent


Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs. File photo.

Muscat: The budget for 2014 projected an expenditure of OMR13.5 billion, a five per cent growth over the budget estimate of last year at OMR12.9 billion.

The revenue projection of the budget will be OMR11.70 billion, indicating a 4.5 per cent growth over last year's budget estimate of OMR11.2 billion.

The government has calculated the price of the crude oil for budget calculation at $85 per barrel.

Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs, will brief the media Thursday on the main features of the state budget for 2014, which includes the estimated expenditure and revenues, as well as various economic and developmental projects that the government intends to implement.

Meanwhile, the Sultanate's budget surplus for the first ten months of 2013 surged to reach OMR543.9 million from OMR339.9 million recorded at the end of last month, despite a marginal fall in oil prices in international markets, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The slow pace of growth in government expenditure is cited as one of the major factors for the increasing fiscal surplus. The government expenditure grew by only one per cent to OMR9,004.6 million for the first ten months ending October, from OMR8,915.5 million for the same period of 2012.

However, the budget surplus for the first ten months of 2012 was much higher at OMR2.8 billion.

The government revenue for the January-October period increase marginally by 0.1 per cent to OMR11,742.2 million, from OMR11,725.9 million for the same period last year, the NCSI data showed. 

Net oil revenue rose 2.2 per cent to reach OMR8,910.3 million from OMR8,714.5 million, thanks to a 2.8 per cent growth in crude oil production at 286.01 million barrels for the first ten months of this year, from 278.31 million barrels for the same period of previous year. This is equivalent to 940,800 barrels a day, against 912,500 barrels per day in 2012. 

However, the average price of Oman crude declined by 3.7 per cent to $105.51 per barrel from $109.54 a barrel. China remained the single largest importer of Omani crude, followed by Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, India and South Korea. Oman government, which based its 2013 budget on a projected oil price of $85 per barrel, expected an expenditure of OMR12.9 billion and a deficit of OMR1.7 billion.

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