H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has issued Law No. 10 2017 approving a general budget for the Emirate of Sharjah of AED 22.1 billion (US$ 6 billion) for the fiscal year 2018. According to Sharjah Finance Department (SFD), the budget has increased 6 percent compared to the final 2017 budget in order to meet the requirements of government departments and achieve strategic objectives across economic, social, scientific and cultural spheres, including increasing investment in infrastructure.
The Emirate’s 2018 public budget aims to continue to stimulate the economy, support economic growth rates and ensure the financial stability of the emirate. The SFD will also ensure that all data, indicators and results are within the international financial standards, including inflation rates, spending across sectors and other macro-economic indicators.
In common with previous years, economic development receives the biggest funding with 44 percent of the new budget, an increase of 7 percent compared with the sum allocated for 2017. Sharjah has invested strategically in developing key economic sectors including tourism, healthcare, energy, manufacturing and industry and real estate.
Meanwhile, 24 percent of Sharjah’s 2018 budget has been allocated to infrastructure investment, an increase of 3 percent on 2017 spending. The social development sector has been allocated 23 percent of the budget for 2018, an increase of 6 percent compared to last year, towards providing the best services, support and assistance to citizens and residents of the Emirate. Government administration, security and safety accounted for about 9 percent of the total budget for 2018 increasing 13 percent on 2017 spending.
Salaries and wages account for 36 percent of the total operating budget for 2018, other expenditures account for 59 percent, while capital expenditure accounts for about 5 percent. Overall, the operating budget has grown 7 percent for 2018 compared to 2017.
According to SFD, government revenues have been budgeted 8 percent higher than in 2017, constituting the main source of funding for the 2018 budget. Capital revenue accounts for 14 percent of 2018’s revenue budget, customs revenues for 7 percent (an increase of 9 percent on 2017 figures), oil and gas revenues for 2 percent (a 100 percent increase over 2017, while tax revenues accounted for 1 percent of total public revenues.
Revenues generated by central authorities’ amount to about 49 percent of the total revenue budget, an increase of 3 percent compared to 2017, while revenues generated by independent bodies accounted for about 51 percent of the total budget.
The new 2018 public budget aims to empower government agencies with the financial capacity to achieve their strategic and operational objectives, whilst strengthening the Emirate’s ability to balance of repayment of loans, interest rates and economic indicators.
Source: WAM, SFD