All eyes are now on what price the government would fix on oil in 2018, taking into account the fact that the Value-Added Tax (VAT) would be launched in 2019. On Thursday, Oman Crude ended up at $63.98 per barrel, touching an all-time high since the end of 2014. It is a “significant new”, with the budget to be announced on January 1. Until the end of October 2017, the average oil price in Oman was $50.6 per barrel against $38.9 in the same period of 2016.
Days of oil prices touching $90 look distinctly remote and it should remain at the current levels for a long time, say senior analysts based in Oman.
As per the statistics released by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the gross public expenditure of the State’s public finance grew by 5.6 per cent to hit RO 9.42 billion at the end of October 2017 as against RO 8.92 billion in the corresponding period last year.
The gross revenues grew 19.2 per cent to RO 6.57 billion at the end of October 2017 as against RO 5.51 billion at the end of October 2016.
As of end of October 2017, the State’s public finance, after calculating the means of finance, registered a surplus of RO 1.75 billion, a growth of 219.2 per cent compared with the surplus at the end of October 2016, which stood at RO 550.6 million.
Out of the finance means used by the Sultanate, whose value as of end of October 2017 stood at RO 4.95 billion, the net borrowing stood at RO 4.10 billion.
The net local borrowing was RO 350 million, while value of reserves stood at RO 500 million.
Before the calculation of the finance means, the public finance deficit at the end of October 2017 stood at RO 3.19 billion, a 33.4 per cent decrease, as against RO 4.80 billion in October 2016.
This increase in revenues has been attributed to the growth in the net oil revenues by 32 per cent to hit RO 3.66 billion compared with RO 2.77 billion at the end of October 2016.
The gas revenues grew 10.7 per cent to RO 1.21 billion at the end of October 2017 as against RO 1.09 billion at the end of October 2016.
The capital revenues grew 28.8 per cent to register RO 15.2 million at the end of October 2017 compared with RO 11.8 million at the end of October 2016. Customs revenues decreased 23.4 per cent to RO 185.7 million as against RO 242.4 million in October 2016.
The corporate income tax revenues decreased 5.9 per cent to RO 338.3 million at the end of October 2017 as against RO 359.4 million at the end of October 2016.
Other revenues grew 12.7 per cent to reach RO 1.16 billion at the end of October 2017 compared with RO 1.02 billion at the end of October 2016.
As for public expenditure, the current expenses constituted the bulk expenditure with RO 6.63 billion at the end of October 2017, a growth by 3.2 per cent, as against RO 6.43 billion at the end of October 2016.
Defence and security expenses decreased 0.5 per cent to RO 2.60 billion. The expenses of civil ministries increased 1.8 per cent to RO 3.34 billion.
The interest on loans recorded the highest growth rate in the public expenditure current expenses as it increased by 290 per cent to RO 207.1 million.
While the oil production expenses increased 2.9 per cent to RO 270.2 million, the gas production expenses decreased 2.4 per cent to RO 157 million. The investment expenditure grew 16.7 per cent to RO 2.34 billion.
While the development expenditures of civil ministries grew 14.7 per cent to RO 1.20 billion, the capital expenditure of the civil ministries decreased 54.5 per cent to RO 5.6 million.
As for the investment expenditure, the oil production expenses item grew by 24.6 per cent to RO 602.1 million and the gas production expenses grew by 14.9 per cent to RO 538.4 million.
Contributions and subsidy decreased by 7.5 per cent to RO 439.7 million and the actual expenditure under settlement amounted to RO 350 million.