Sharp rise in Qatar infrastructure spending
Dubai, July 27, 2014
Qatar's spending on infrastructure projects showed a sharp rise last fiscal year, with country accelerating the pace of work on 2022 World Cup projects.
Qatar is expected to spend about $210 billion during the next decade or so on infrastructure projects, many of them related to the World Cup.
The project spending soared 32.7 per cent to SR68.4 billion ($18.7 billion) last fiscal year, compared with growth of just 1.9 per cent in the previous year.
The total state spending increased 12.7 percent last fiscal year, the lowest rate in 11 years, as slow growth in current expenditure offset a sharp rise in funds spent on infrastructure projects, data showed on Sunday.
Difficulties in planning and logistics, as well as bureaucratic obstacles, delayed project spending in the past. Qatar has now scaled down or divided into phases some big-ticket projects, such as a metro, a port and airport facilities, to reduce economic overcapacity risks.
The current expenditure rose six per cent to QR163.2 billion in 2013/14, a sharp slowdown from a 24.4 per cent jump in each of the previous two years, because of a drop in interest payments and spending on supplies and services.
The 2013/14 budget surplus surged to a record QR115 billion riyals, or 15.6 per cent of gross domestic product, from SR78.8 billion or 11.4 per cent of GDP in the previous year.
Analysts polled by Reuters in April forecast Qatar's fiscal surplus would total 7.7 percent of GDP in 2014/15, shrinking to 5.2 per cent in the coming fiscal year. - Reuters