The government of Sharjah has set its 2015 annual budget at AED 17.7 billion (US$ 4.8 b), the highest annual budget that the emirate has ever allocated, 12 percent above Sharjah’s AED 15.4 billion (US$ 4.2 b) 2014 budget. The budget was endorsed by The Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC) on Saturday and approved by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah on Tuesday.
Economic development accounts for 45 percent of the record budget, with an increase of 22 per cent in expenditure compared to last year, while infrastructure sector has been allocated 34 percent the budget, with an increase of 1 per cent from last year. The education and culture sector will be given 11 percent of the budget, a 17 percent increase on 2014, while the government administration is to receive 10 per cent.
The Sharjah Finance Department expects the new budget to help provide a thousand government jobs for UAE nationals and to help increase emiratisation and provide opportunities for fresh graduates. Allocations in the budget for wages increased from 23 percent in 2014 to 28 percent in 2015.
Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s assigns the Emirate of Sharjah A/A-1 sovereign credit ratings long- and short-term, foreign and local currency, on the basis of Sharjah’s strong economic growth and the government’s solid fiscal management. Moody’s Investors Services also assigns an A3 sovereign rating to Sharjah with a stable outlook based on its strong economy and financial policy.
Sharjah has a wide range of initiatives in place to help develop its economy and recently launched the emirate’s first one-stop-shop for investors and an export trade development centre. Sharjah will also hold the 12th annual World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment from 7 – 10 February, hosted by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
Source: media, Sharjah Finance Department