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Qatar Budget Spending Falls 6.6% In Fiscal Q1, Revenue Hits Record

Qatar Budget Spending Falls 6.6% In Fiscal Q1, Revenue Hits Record

The central bank did not give a reason for the drop in spending, but work on some large infrastructure projects has been slowed.

Qatar’s government spending fell 6.6 per cent from a year ago to QAR38.8 billion ($10.7 billion) in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, while revenue soared to a record high, central bank data showed on Thursday.

The central bank did not give a reason for the drop in spending, but work on some large infrastructure projects in the country has been slowed or divided into phases to reduce the risk of waste or overcapacity.

The budget surplus in April-June was QAR79 billion, compared with a deficit of QAR24.4 billion a year earlier, the data showed. The surplus was equivalent to 41.7 per cent of gross domestic product.

Revenue surged to QAR117.8 billion in the first quarter, nearly the same amount as the state collected in the whole first half of last year, from a mere QAR17.1 billion a year ago.

The revenue increase seemed at least partly due to the fact that state energy giant Qatar Petroleum started transferring its entire financial surplus to the government in 2013.

Previously, a part went to the government as investment income, part was retained on the company’s balance sheet, and part was used to provide fresh capital to the Qatar Investment Authority.

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