The UAE emirate of Sharjah has forecast a 2 per cent increase in spending this year totalling Dh29.1 billion ($7.92 billion), compared to 2019 budget.
The approved budget will see an increase in expenses across several sectors including infrastructure, social programs, economic activities, culture and education among others, said HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Investing in the emirate’s infrastructure will be the primary goal this year, besides also focusing on Sharjah’s strategic objectives in the economic, social, scientific and cultural sectors. Provision of social support to ensure that the needs of all citizens are adequately met, will also be an essential area of focus during this year.
Approximately 33% of the general budget is allocated to infrastructure development in the emirate, a growth of 10% over the 2019 budget. Around 36% of the budget is set aside for economic development, with an increased focused on spurring economic growth.
About 24% of the budget is earmarked for social development, a 1% increase over the 2019 budget. This budget is dedicated for the support of scientific, cultural and heritage services in order to stimulate creativity, innovation and R&D, to ensure an ideal healthy environment.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi said: "The general budget for this year is considered the largest in the history of the emirate. Stimulating economic growth lies at the heart of this year’s budget as a strategic priority to enhance Sharjah's economic appeal regionally and globally. The aim is to ensure financial stability and improve the emirate's competitiveness by providing a business-friendly environment for local and international investors, and help in the growth of the tourism sector across various fields, including cultural, historical, therapeutic, and recreational tourism. This is coupled with unrelenting efforts to keep macroeconomic performance indicators in line with international standards, including control of inflation rates and rationalizing government spending.”
Capital projects accounted for 23% of the total budget with a view to strengthening infrastructure, including the development and improvement of road network, tunnels, and other primary facilities. The general budget will create 500 jobs for Emiratis to ensure social stability and sustainable income sources for UAE citizens. The revenues of independent entities are set to grow by 1% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Social assistance accounts for 13 % of the 2020 general budget, which reflects the determination of the Ruler to ensure welfare and social justice, said the statement. – TradeArabia News Service