Saturday 30 May 2020

UAE starts preparations for 2020 draft general budget

ABU DHABI, March 5, 2019

The UAE Ministry of Finance has issued a financial circular on the preparation of the draft general budget of the federation for the fiscal year 2020, as part of the five-year plan (2017-2021).

This year is the fourth of the five-year plan for 2017-2021, and the circular set March 22 as the deadline for the submission of draft budgets of federal entities to the Ministry of Finance (MoF). It has been developed using the latest electronic systems and in line with international best practices.

The budget circular was issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, in line with the ministry’s strategic objectives to strengthen the government’s financial planning, budget implementation and increase efficiency, as well as to manage the government’s financial standing and cash flows.

The 2019 fiscal budget reinforces the ministry’s success in its operations, and is estimated at a total of Dh60.3 billion ($16.4 billion), against estimated expenditures in the same value sans deficit.

Community development programme accounted for 42.3 per cent, with 17 per cent allocated towards upgrading the education system, and 7.3 per cent towards developing the health sector in order to provide quality medical services.

Sheikh Hamdan affirmed the cabinet’s support of MoF’s efforts in preparing the nation’s general budget, as well its oversight of the various government entities’ revenue and expenditure estimates in accordance with the provisions of the laws, decrees and decisions made.

"The Ministry of Finance continues to work with all relevant parties to prepare the draft budget for the fiscal year 2020 in adherence with international best practices and using the latest electronic systems," he added.

Sheikh Hamdan stated that this would increase the efficiency of public spending, which in turn enables federal entities to achieve their goals and objectives in an optimal manner, and prepare a development budget that encourages investment spending.

"Furthermore, this contributes to improving government services; including provision of high-quality education, health and social services in order to achieve prosperity," he noted.

Over the course of 47 years the total amount of federal budgets have exceeded Dh149 billion. The budget doubled over 300 times, from Dh200 million in 1972 to Dh60.3 billion in 2019. These budgets have been allocated to implement infrastructure development plans and initiatives, improve education and healthcare services, as well as fund social benefits and other development projects.

MoF’s website lists all the data and information needed to help guide federal government entities when preparing their draft budget – this improves the government’s financial performance, financial planning, and develops effective mechanisms in the preparation of the general federal budget.

Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer stressed the need to adhere to the rules and guidelines mentioned in the financial circular, and reiterated the ministry’s readiness to provide technical assistance by responding to all incoming inquiries, while also reviewing suggestions for improvement from federal entities.

"The experts at Ministry of Finance continue to provide training on the steps and procedures of updating the budget project to all federal entities that seek assistance," he noted.

The ministry held an open meeting on the modernisation of the draft budget for 2020 with all federal entities in February 2019 and soon workshops will be held to train specialists in the preparation of the draft budget with the federal authorities this month.

The preparation of the draft federal budget is based on a set of rules and regulations established by the Financial Procedures Manual and the principles of the Zero-Based Budget system, said Al Tayer.
It re-calculates the cost of activities and programs undertaken by government entities to reach the actual spend on performing the required services, and in a manner that allows for comparisons of the cost of services between different government entities, as well as third parties, he added.-TradeArabia News Service


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