Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has approved the emirate’s 2014 budget, which aims to “stimulate economic growth and accentuate the social services sector,” official news agency WAM reported.
The budget forecasts an operating surplus of Dhs2 billion, with the deficit not exceeding 0.26 per cent of emirate’s GDP.
Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, director general of the Department of Finance in Dubai, said that Dubai has reduced the gap in the 2014 budget by 41 per cent compared to 2013.
While public revenues are expected to reach Dhs37,000 million, public expenditure is estimated to hit Dhs37,882 million.
Although the government could have balanced the budget, it prefers to “expand its expenditures to support the emirate’s economy and contribute to the higher rates of economic growth,” WAM quoted Al Saleh as saying.
Public spending in 2014 is projected to increase by 11 per cent from the budget of the fiscal year 2013, he added. Government revenues during the same period are expected to rise by 13 per cent.
In terms of government expenditures, salaries and wages account for 37 per cent; goods and services expenses and capital expenditures, grants and support account for another 32 per cent; 17 per cent has been allocated for the completion of infrastructure and developmental projects in the emirate and 11 per cent of the total spending has been kept for bonds interest payments.
In terms of sectors, 35 per cent was allocated to the social development sector including healthcare, education, housing and community development; the security, justice and safety sector was allocated 21 per cent and the infrastructure, transportation and economic sectors received 37 per cent.
In terms of public revenues, fees – which account for 67 per cent of total government revenues – are projected to increase by 24 per cent when compared with 2013.
Tax revenue is expected to rise by one per cent, representing 21 per cent of total government revenues and includes customs and foreign banks taxes.
Net oil revenues account for nine per cent of the overall revenues, said the report.
“The government is committed not to use oil revenues to fund infrastructure projects,” WAM quoted Arif Abdul Rahman Ahli, executive director of Budgeting and Planning as saying.
Jamal Al Marri, executive director of the Central Accounts, said that the Department of Finance was working with government entities to prepare a plan for budget implementation and to provide required funds in accordance with the priorities of the government.