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Sharjah approves largest ever budget of Dh29.1 billion

Budget has a strong focus on infrastructure development.

Sharjah has announced its budget for 2020 – the largest ever – with total expenses of Dh29.1 billion, a two per cent increase from its 2019 budget, with strong focus on infrastructure development.

The budget will see an increase in expenses across several sectors including infrastructure, social programs, economic activities, culture and education among others.

Sharjah has been recently rated among the world’s top 10 fastest-growing urban areas in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The emirate is eighth fastest growing city in the past five years with 32.2 per cent change.

A statement released by Sharjah government on Sunday said investing in the infrastructure will be the primary goal this year, besides also focusing on Sharjah’s strategic objectives in the economic, social, scientific and cultural sectors. Provision of social support to ensure that the needs of all citizens are adequately met, will also be an essential area of focus during this years.

Approximately 33 per cent of the general budget is allocated to infrastructure development in the emirate, a growth of 10 per cent over the 2019 budget. Around 36 per cent of the general budget is set aside for economic development, with an increased focused on spurring economic growth.

About 24 per cent of the general budget is earmarked for social development, a one per cent increase over the 2019 budget. This budget is dedicated for the support of scientific, cultural and heritage services in order to stimulate creativity, innovation and R&D, to ensure an ideal healthy environment.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Finance Department, said the general budget for this year is the largest in the history of the emirate.

“Stimulating economic growth lies at the heart of this year’s budget as a strategic priority to enhance Sharjah’s economic appeal regionally and globally. The aim is to ensure financial stability and improve the emirate’s competitiveness by providing a business-friendly environment for local and international investors, and help in the growth of the tourism sector across various fields, including cultural, historical, therapeutic, and recreational tourism. This is coupled with unrelenting efforts to keep macroeconomic performance indicators in line with international standards, including control of inflation rates and rationalizing government spending,” he said.

The general budget will create 500 jobs for Emiratis to ensure social stability and sustainable income sources for UAE citizens. The revenues of independent entities are set to grow by 1 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. Social assistance accounts for 13 per cent of the 2020 general budget, which reflects the determination ofHis Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to ensure welfare and social justice.

Salaries account for 45 per cent of the current budget, an increase of five per cent over the 2019 budget

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