Finance Minister presents State Budget to Parliament

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has presented the proposed USD3.2 billion state budget for next year.

In the proposed state budget, the finance ministry projects that the economy will grow by 8.7% this year and 5.5% next year, while it will grow by 6.7% in the medium term. The government is expected to receive USD2.2 billion in revenue and grants.

Of the USD3.2 billion budget, USD3 billion has been allocated for expenditure with USD2.3 billion in recurrent expenditure and USD811 million in capital expenditure. Of which, USD143 million is included to repay the public debt. In addition, USD558 million has been allocated for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which is 17% of the budget, while USD480 million will be used to service debt.

During the sitting, members of the minority members continued to raise their voices and raise points of order while Minister Ameer gave his statement. Speaking at the Parliament, Minister Ameer said the government needs to obtain USD1.1 billion to finance the budget after taking into account the deficit, debt repayment, and the transfer of the sovereign fund.

Additionally, USD908 million has been allocated to pay the salaries and pensions of state employees. In addition, USD396 million has been allocated for recurrent expenditure such as the procurement of goods and services, transportation and repairs, while USD610 million has been allocated for subsidies and financial assistance.

The Constitution states that before the beginning of each fiscal year, the finance ministry shall submit to the Parliament a budget containing projected revenue and expenditures for the year. The ministry shall also submit a statement of actual revenue and expenditures for the preceding year.

Furthermore, the finance ministry should make arrangements to provide the details of the proposed state budget to the members through the speaker. As such, the finance minister follows a policy of attending a sitting to provide information on the budget in a statement to the Parliament each year.