Draft budget based on current economic situation

Muscat: Majlis A’Shura discussed the draft state budget for the fiscal year 2019 presented by Darwish bin Ismail al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Finance, on Monday.

The minister said the 2019 general budget had been prepared by taking into account the current global economic conditions, and looking forward to possible developments at the global economy that could have a positive or negative impact.

Al Balushi reviewed several issues, including estimates of public revenues, public expenditure, public debt management in 2019, status of the government investment, economic diversification programs, foreign direct investment (FDI) and privatization programs.

He added that the oil crisis, which began in mid-2014, had significant negative repercussions and continued to cast a shadow over the world economy and the opportunities for economic growth, despite signs of détente during the past year with the recovery of oil prices and good performance of the global economy.

It was also noted that during the meeting, extensive discussions were held by the members on the efforts to create a stable environment that will continue to help the national economy to grow.

Members also questioned the results of programs to promote economic diversification and increasing the contribution of non-oil revenues to the overall output.

Committee Report

Meanwhile, Saleh bin Saeed Masan, chairman of the Economic and Financial Committee, presented the committee’s report observation on the status of government investments, diversification programs, FDI and privatization programs.

The report included several recommendations on reviewing the price at which gas is sold to Sohar Aluminum Company in line with international rates.

It recommended appropriate mechanisms to absorb jobseekers in a time bound manner and replace the expatriates in the public sector.

The report also laid importance on the promotions for employees in the public sector.