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Wed 26 Mar 2014 01:12 PM

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Qatar targets infrastructure, education, health in 'diverse' budget

Gulf state also makes ample allocations for sports-related projects ahead of hosting 2022 World Cup

Qatar targets infrastructure, education, health in 'diverse' budget

Qatar has flagged a greater focus on infrastructure, logistics, education and health in its 2014-15 budget as the LNG-rich state works to diversify its economy.

In a preview of the budget, Finance Minister Ali Sherif al Emadi told the 9th World Exchange Congress (WEC) in Qatar that ample allocations had also been made for sports-related activities in view of the country hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the English daily Gulf Times reported.

Al Emadi was quoted as saying that Qatar’s economy had grown by 6.5 percent in 2013 and was estimated to expand by six percent this year on the back of expected 10 percent growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector.

“Based on its strong, robust and open economy, Qatar seeks to become a business hub in the region,” al Emadi said.

“No doubt that the economic policies adopted by the Qatari government would enable Qatari institutions to play an important role in order to achieve sustainability and adaption to global changes.”

The International Monetary Fund said recently that Qatar’s 2012-13 budget surplus increased to nine percent of the gross domestic product on the back of strong growth in revenues, especially from the non-oil sector, despite a substantial overrun in current expenditures.

Qatar has started introducing a medium-term budget framework (MTBF), which will help ensure government spending is shielded from revenue volatility and expenditure targets are not exceeded, while providing a platform for assessing the quality of spending, the Times reported.

One of the delegates at the WEC backed the move to give higher allocations for non-hydrocarbon sectors.

“It will have a large multiplier effect on the economy and it is line with the National Development Strategy of 2011-16 and the Qatar National Vision 2030,” he said.

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