By Francesca Astorri
Report says Gulf state will spend $66bn in 2013/2013, with more than half going on infrastructure
Qatar government spending may reach $66bn in 2013/2014 compared to the budgeted $58bn, as a result of upcoming infrastructure projects for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, according to a Qatar National Bank (QNB) report.
More than (54 percent) of the upcoming budget will be spent on infrastructure projects, the report found, while government salaries will account for more than one third (35 percent).
Infrastructure projects currently being tendered include $12bn of work for the Qatar Rail development, which will in total cost $35bn
Developer Ashghal is also building two road projects, upgrading the network of roads in Doha and constructing the Doha, Lusail and Dukhan highways, worth more than $22bn combined.
The $5.5bn Msheireb downtown Doha project near Souq Waqif will also receive an allocation from the government’s capital budget.
The ongoing $7.5bn expansion phase of Education City is due to reach completion in late 2014, and school development will receive a major portion of capital spending on education.
Medical facilities such as Hamad Medical City and Sidra Medical and Research Centre will also be expanded.
Qatar’s government often spends more than budgeted due to its conservative oil price forecasting.
Qatar has taken $65 per barrel as the price on which the budget for this financial year is to be based, but QNB expects oil prices to average $107 per barrel, leading to estimated revenue of $74bn.
According to QNB, this increase will leave a budget surplus of 8bn or around 4 percent of GDP.