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Fri 27 Jan 2017 11:22 AM

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Oman's gov't budget deficit swells to $12.8bn

Official figures reveal January-November deficit increases as low oil export prices slashes Oman revenues

Oman's gov't budget deficit swells to $12.8bn

Oman's government posted a budget deficit of OR4.94 billion ($12.8 billion) in the first 11 months of 2016 compared with a deficit of OR4.07 billion a year earlier, according to latest official figures.

It also rose month-on-month from OR4.81 billion in the first 10 months of 2016 as low oil export prices slashed its revenues, provisional Finance Ministry data, cited by Reuters, showed.

The government's original 2016 budget plan envisaged state expenditure of OR11.9 billion and revenues of OR8.6 billion. Officials said their 2016 economic plans assumed an average oil price of $45 a barrel.

Oman is imposing a series of austerity measures after it posted a budget deficit of about OR4.5 billion last year. Gasoline and diesel price subsidies have been cut and similar cuts are planned for electricity and liquid petroleum gas.

In August, the World Bank said Oman's subsidy bill is expected to fall by 64 percent this year as the government seeks to reform its finances amid lower oil prices.