Amadeusz Juskowiak

Qatar unveils budget for fiscal 198788

The Gulf oil state of Qatar recovering slightly from last years decline in world oil prices announced its first budget since early 1985 and projected a deficit of 5472 billion riyals

The deficit compared with a shortfall of 73 billion riyals in the last published budget for 198586

In a statement outlining the budget for the fiscal year 198788 beginning today Finance and Petroleum Minister Sheikh AbdulAziz bin Khalifa alThani said the government expected to spend 12217 billion riyals in the period

Projected expenditure in the 198586 budget had been 156 billion riyals

Sheikh AbdulAziz said government revenue would be about 6745 billion riyals down by about 30 pct on the 198586 projected revenue of 97 billion

The government failed to publish a 198687 budget due to uncertainty surrounding oil revenues

Sheikh AbdulAziz said that during that year the government decided to limit recurrent expenditure each month to onetwelfth of the previous fiscal years allocations minus 15 pct

He urged heads of government departments and public institutions to help the government rationalise expenditure He did not say how the 198788 budget shortfall would be covered

Sheikh AbdulAziz said plans to limit expenditure in 198687 had been taken in order to relieve the burden placed on the countrys foreign reserves

He added in 198788 some 2766 billion riyals had been allocated for major projects including housing and public buildings social services health education transport and communications electricity and water industry and agriculture

No figure was revealed for expenditure on defence and security There was also no projection for oil revenue

Qatar an OPEC member has an output ceiling of 285000 barrels per day

Sheikh AbdulAziz said Our expectations of positive signs regarding oil price trends foremost among them OPECs determination to shoulder its responsibilites and protect its wealth have helped us make reasonable estimates for the coming years revenue on the basis of our assigned quota

REUTER