Saturday 25 January 2020

Sheikh Mohammed presiding over the cabinet meeting.

UAE cabinet approves $14bn federal budget for 2018

DUBAI, November 7, 2017

The UAE Cabinet, presided over by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the federal budget for the years 2018-2021 with a total of Dh201.1 billion ($54.7 billion), of which Dh51.4 billion ($13.9 billion) is for 2018 with a zero deficit, reported state news agency Wam.

 The approval came during the extraordinary session held at the Sharjah International Book Fair on Tuesday.

The increases in the financial allocations for 2018 compared to the financial allocations for the previous budget period (2014-2016) were approximately 12 per cent, 5 per cent, 6 per cent respectively, which indicate the strength of the national economy and sustainable financial resources in addition to providing liquidity to finance all economic and social development initiatives in the country, it stated.

Sheikh Mohammed asserted that the federal government, led by the President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, continues to achieve the happiness of its people and to ensure a secure and a decent life for them.

"All strategies and budget plans are invested in the service of the UAE society in the first place, and we will spare no efforts in providing all the requirements for our people's happiness and well-being. The UAE people are our most valuable asset," stated the Prime Minister at the meeting.

The budget focused primarily on utilising resources to achieve the highest degree of prosperity and well-being of the citizens and residents as a priority, underlining education, healthcare and community wellbeing as key pillars for the development of the society, said the report.

The federal budget for the 2018 fiscal year was distributed across various sectors. The ‎social development and social benefits sector saw Dh26.3 billion ‎earmarked for social development programmes, that is 43.5 per cent of the total budget, of which ‎Dh10.4 billion were allocated for general education and higher education totaling 17.1 per cent of ‎the overall budget, and Dh4.5 billion allocated to the health sector, 7.4 per cent of the total ‎budget.

The government affairs sector was allocated Dh22.1 billion (around 36.5 per cent of the total budget). ‎A total of Dh3.5 billion was assigned to federal projects implemented by federal agencies.‎

The cabinet adopted the 2018 budget with zero deficit, where in both the revenues and the estimated expenditure are set at 51.4 billion, said the Wam report.

This is in line with government’s objective to improve the efficiency of financial planning and its implementation to achieve the UAE Vision 2021, it added.

The Ministry of Finance worked in co-ordination with all ministries and federal entities to ensure that their development plans and programmes are by the federal financial strategy, and with the objectives of the Government of the Future.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance reaffirmed that the full support of Sheikh Khalifa has served as a catalyst for the comprehensive development of the country, as he has continued to champion the cause social good, prosperity and happiness for the people of the UAE.

The minister also highlighted that the citizens of the UAE were among the happiest and most prosperous populations in the Arab world, noting that the general federal budget during these years has contributed to significant achievements, which reflect the vision and astute guidance of the wise leadership.

Sheikh Hamdan said Sheikh Mohammed was the driving force behind innovation and excellence in the country's method in preparing the general budget and government accounts.

"This is reflected in the increase in the financial allocations in the state budget to finance existing and future projects, which confirms the strength and robustness of the economic structure of the countryme to implement all projects according to approved strategic plans," he added.

During its session, the cabinet also adopted the restructuring of the Ministerial Council for Development, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The cabinet also adopted the federal decree-Law No. 08 of 2017 on Value Added Tax to be implemented at the beginning of January 2018, as well as a number of resolutions and initiatives on the agenda and approved a number of international treaties.

Later Sheikh Mohammed toured the Sharjah International Book Fair, with Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

Tags: UAE | Cabinet | Healthcare | Federal budget |

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