Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has issued a Royal Decree that approved the general budget of the State for the fiscal year 2019.
Article 1 ratifies General Budget of the State for the fiscal year 2019.
Article 2 states that all ministries and government units shall implement the provisions of this decree.
Article 3 states decree shall be published in the official Gazette and shall come into force on January 1, 2019.
The total estimated income of the State budget for 2019, which was calculated on the basis of the price of oil $58 per barrel, was about RO 10.1 billion.
Total public spending was estimated at about 12.9 billion, up from RO 400 million over the estimated expenditure for 2018.
It is estimated that the deficit of the budget of 2019 is about RO 2.8 billion, or nine per cent of GDP, where 86 per cent of the budget deficit will be financed through external and domestic borrowing, while the rest of the deficit will be financed through the withdrawal of reserves.
The official Government Communication (GC) in a statement said that deficit rates have declined as a result of fiscal restraint measures taken to meet the challenges, without compromising on the efficiency of services.
The budget goals will be achieved through many programs that include raising the level efficiency in government expenditure, continuing support for small and medium enterprises, improving the business environment and attracting foreign investments.
The state budget for 2019 focuses on achieving fiscal sustainability, stimulating the national economy, and sustaining basic social services by increased spending.
The budget allocation for basic social services has risen to 39 per cent of total public spending, the largest percentage in recent years, reflecting interest in raising the level of basic social services for citizens.