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Tue 7 Nov 2017 07:29 PM

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UAE approves $13.9bn budget for 2018 with no deficit

UAE Cabinet also announces federal budget of more than $54bn for 2018-2021

UAE approves $13.9bn budget for 2018 with no deficit
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The UAE Cabinet on Tuesday approved the federal budget of AED201.1 billion ($54.7 billion) for the years 2018-2021, of which AED51.4 billion ($13.9 billion) is for next year, with no deficit forecast.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said: "All strategies and budget plans are invested in the service of the UAE society in the first place, and we will spare no efforts in providing all the requirements for our people's happiness and well-being. The UAE people are our most valuable asset."

The largest portion of the 2018 budget has been earmarked for ‎social development and social benefits (AED26.3 billion or 43.5 percent of the total budget), state news agency WAM reported.

Of this, ‎AED10.4 billion has been allocated for general education and higher education and AED4.5 billion allocated to the health sector. ‎

The government affairs sector was allocated AED22.1 billion, 36.5 percent of the total budget, WAM added.

The budget approval came during the first extraordinary session of the Cabinet to be held after the recent restructuring of the government.

The Cabinet also adopted Federal Decree-Law No. 08 of 2017 on Value Added Tax to be implemented at the beginning of January 2018.