By Sarah Townsend
New legislation introduced in response to declining revenues and rising construction costs
New laws have been introduced in Qatar to give the country’s finance ministry more power over public spending.
The Emir has passed legislation aimed at tightening the nation’s purse strings in response to declining revenues and rising construction costs.
The laws give Qatar’s finance ministry the power to rein in overspending departments and track income and expenditure more effectively.
Minister of finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi said the new measures aim to “protect public funds,” according to the country’s state news agency. “The law would boost the efficiency of public spending by tracking income and expenses accurately and continuously,” he added.
QNA reports that the new law is also aimed at giving the finance department more flexibility to deal with “economic and financial developments”, and set “clear boundaries” between government departments.
According to Doha News, the Qatar government has routinely overspent its budget in recent years, and the dramatic drop in oil prices has prompted some economists to predict that Qatar will run its first budget deficit in more than a decade this year.