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Wed 31 Dec 2008 08:55 PM

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UAE's FNC ratifies $11.5bn draft federal '09 budget

Ministry of Finance plans to introduce penalties for late-paying emirates.

The UAE''s semi-elected consultative Federal National Council (FNC) has given its approval for the draft 2009 federal budget, the biggest in the country's history, official news agency WAM repoRted on Wednesday.

The FNC session chaired by Speaker Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al-Ghurair was attended by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash and Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obeid Humaid Al-Tayer, WAM said.

The 42.2 billion dirham ($11.5 billion) no-surplus and zero deficit budget covers all ministries and affiliated federal institutions.

The FNC also obtained an approval from Al-Tayer to increase the budget by 53 million dirhams.

Al-Tayer said that the Ministry of Finance and Industry is planning to prepare a revenue law, which will penalise any default by individual emirates in their contribution to the federal budget.

Some members in the FNC had raised this issue during the discussion of the draft budget.

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