MUSCAT: The Majlis Ash'shura on Wednesday hosted Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, Minister of Finance, in a closed-door round of discussion on the draft version of State Budget 2023.
The meeting was part of the second ordinary session of the Majlis’s fourth annual convening during the 9th Term. Reading out his ministry’s statement on the draft State Budget, Al Habsi said that some economic sectors are experiencing growth and improvement in fiscal indicators, mostly resulting from a rise in oil prices that peaked to record levels.
The amelioration is also due to financial and economic measures that reflected positively on prospective results of State Budget 2022, leading to a fiscal surplus that contributed to a decline in public debt, Al Habsi added.
However, the minister cautioned against the fact that enduring geopolitical fluctuations and changing global scenarios may impact the future of the state’s fiscal stability.
He pointed out that the State Budget 2023 was drafted bearing in mind precautionary policies to address financial and economic challenges, as well as a determination to achieve the national goals of the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025).
The session covered salient features of the budget-its financial, economic and social aspects, as well as policies governing allocations for development projects, the mechanisms of the Omani economy, an uptake in Oman’s credit rating, deficit and debt management during 2023.
The session also stressed the need to cut down the actual cost of production of oil (per barrel) so that it could tally with the sustainable oil sector costs, while at the same time leveraging any potential gains to the advantage of social priorities.
Discussions revolved around the most prominent features of the budget particularly those related to the financial, economic and social aspects, the state’s fiscal policies directed to the economic and development projects, the developments of the national economy, improving credit ranking of the Sultanate of Oman and deficit and debt management during the year 2023.
Also debated at the meeting were the importance of boosting allocations for development projects being linked to the implementation of the current plan’s projects and the provision of liquidity required for supporting economic activities.
Majlis Ash’shura will hold its third ordinary meeting of the ninth term (2019-2023) on Thursday to discuss the Financial and Economic Committee’s report on the draft state’s general budget for the fiscal year 2023. The Majlis Ash'shura will also discuss the draft Higher Education Law and School Education Law which were referred to the Majlis from the government. -- ONA