Gulf state estimates federal budget deficit of about AED3bn ($817m) next year
The UAE's president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan appointed his son Sheikh Sultan as a presidential advisor and gave him the rank of minister, the official WAM news agency reported on Tuesday.
Sheikh Sultan is a former member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the emirate’s cabinet, which he left in a reshuffle on December 12.
Sheikh Khalifa is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates in the UAE federation.
The Gulf state on Tuesday said it is forecasting a federal budget deficit of about AED3bn ($817m) next year, according to proposals submitted to the cabinet.
The expected shortfall is “not a concern,” Younis Al Khoori, the ministry’s director general, told reporters in Abu Dhabi after the document was distributed.
The budget foresees spending of AED41bn, of which AED15bn will be allocated to social development and education and 17 billion for government affairs including defense. It predicts revenue of AED38bn, implying a deficit of about 0.3 percent of gross domestic product.
The budget plan didn’t include comparative figures for 2010 or specify a projected price for oil, the main source of revenue for the emirates. The Finance Ministry said in October last year that it planned to spend AED43.6bn in 2010, 3.4 percent more than the amount budgeted for 2009.
Most budget spending in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, is carried out by individual emirates and isn’t consolidated into the federal budget. Abu Dhabi, the biggest of the emirates and holder of 90 percent of the UAE’s oil reserves, is forecasting a deficit of AED84.9bn this year.
Abu Dhabi will contribute AED11.6bn to federal revenue next year while Dubai, the second-biggest emirate, will provide AED1.2bn, the proposals showed.