Oman's 2017 Budget Projects Deficit
MUSCAT, Jan 2 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 02nd Jan, 2017 ) - Oman on Sunday said it will need to borrow money from local and international markets as it announced its budget for 2017 with a projected deficit of around $7.7 billion.
A finance ministry statement said the sultanate, which like other oil-producing Gulf states has been hit by a cash crunch because of a sharp drop in oil prices, will also follow a policy of austerity.
It estimated the deficit will be three billion Riyals or 12 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Oman will therefore seek to borrow locally and abroad to finance 84 percent of the deficit, as well as dig into its foreign reserves to cover the remaining 16 percent, the statement said.
7 billion riyals, two percent less than in 2016. The government will earmark 23 percent of the budget to education, health, social services and sectors that "directly" impact people's daily lives, the statement said.
It warned that public sector job creations in 2017 will be "limited". A total of 3.34 billion riyals is earmarked for defence and security. The sultanate derives 79 percent of its revenues from oil, of which it produces only about one million barrels per day (bpd).
The finance ministry said on Sunday that oil revenues in 2016 were down by 67 percent compared with 2014, when crude prices began plunging globally. It also projected two percent growth this year, as oil prices recover.