Oman to spend $2.4bn on jobs projects in 2010
Muscat, January 2, 2010
Oman has allocated OR937 million ($2.4 billion) to build new projects in 2010 to create thousands of jobs for nationals, the national economy minister said on Saturday.
About 5,000 Omani nationals look for jobs every year in a job market fiercely contested by foreigners who make up 25 per cent of Oman's total population of 3 million people.
'The OR937 million will be spent on projects that will create 4,000 jobs for nationals in the labour market this year,' National Economy Minister Ahmad Mekki told a news conference.
The projects include water desalination plants, schools, roads and hospitals, Mekki said.
'In a separate account, oil and gas production will cost OR1.45 billion this year, which represents 20 of the total expenditure allocated for this year,' Mekki said.
The Gulf Arab state produced oil at an average rate of 810,000 barrels per day in 2009 and has said it expected to reach an output of 900,000 bpd by the end of 2010.
Oman said in November it had allocated an expenditure of OR7.18 billion with revenues estimated at OR6.38 billion in 2010, showing a budget deficit of OR800 million. – Reuters