Qatar announces 2020 budget, its biggest in five years

      Published on Wednesday, 18 December , 2019      473 Views     
Qatar announces 2020 budget, its biggest in five years

  • Government

Qatar said on Monday that it plans to spend 1.9 percent more in 2020 than in 2019, outlining a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($58bn) budget to complete infrastructure projects including facilities for the 2022 football World Cup.

It was the gas-rich Gulf state’s biggest budget in five fiscal years and follows years of heavy spending on infrastructure projects.

Qatar was hit hard in mid-2017 by a boycott imposed on it by neighbouring countries amid a row over security issues. But it has used some of its vast financial reserves to protect its banks and boost economic growth.

“The 2020 budget is designed to achieve efficiency in the current expenditure while maintaining the allocations required for the completion of major approved projects,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Revenues in 2020 are expected to stay unchanged at 211 billion riyals ($58bn), based on an oil price assumption of 200 riyals ($55) per barrel.

As a result, the country expects a surplus of 500 million riyals ($137m) next year compared with a surplus of 4.4 billion ($1.2m) riyals this year, it said.

Qatar’s rift with its neighbours has shattered the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alliance, a bloc of Sunni-ruled Arab monarchies in the Gulf that have close ties with the United States and that host US military bases.

But there has been “small progress” recently in resolving the dispute, Qatar’s foreign minister said last week, just days after the country’s premier visited Saudi Arabia at an annual GCC summit – Qatar’s highest representation since 2017.

Major projects

For next year, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter plans to spend 90 billion riyals ($25bn) on major projects – a 0.6 percent increase and the largest share of the overall budget.

“It highlights the country’s commitment to timely complete the projects in leading sectors, including healthcare, education, and transportation, along with those related to the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022,” the statement said.

New projects worth 11.5 billion riyals ($3.2bn) will be awarded next year, it said.

Main infrastructure projects include the completion of highways, expansions in the water and electricity networks, and the launch of the Sharq Crossing Project, linking Doha’s Ras Abu Aboud area and the West Bay high-rise district, which is expected to be completed within four years.

Spending allocations are expected to increase 3.3 percent to 59 billion riyals ($16.2) for salaries and wages, partly thanks to staff being hired to operate recently completed projects such as the Doha Metro.

“Qatar can easily afford to spend, and now that major 2022 infrastructure projects like the metro are complete, they are looking to revive projects that were postponed to focus on the priority ones,” said Rory Fyfe, managing director at MENA Advisors.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain introduced a five percent value-added tax (VAT) over the past two years to reduce their dependence on oil revenues, but Qatar said last year it wanted more time to assess the effects of a VAT.

There was no mention of VAT introduction in Qatar’s 2020 budget statement.

The World Bank said in a report this month that Qatar is the only GCC country expected to post a fiscal surplus in the three-year period of 2019-2021.

The report added that Qatar should avoid delaying the introduction of VAT, which is needed to reduce the fiscal impact of oil price volatility.

Category Government | 2019/12/18 latest update at 11:14 AM
Source : Al Jazeera | Photocredit : Google
Comments Add comment

Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Qatar Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Qatar and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Qatar Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Qatar, the Gulf and the world.

Qatari Emir to Visit Jordan Signalling New Doha-Amman Rapprochement Emir

Qatari Emir to Visit Jordan Signalling New Doha-Amman Rapprochement

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will visit Jordan next Sunday, the Qatari embassy…

Amir leads National Sport Day celebrations Emir

Amir leads National Sport Day celebrations

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani participated in the activities of the Qatar National Sport…

Qatari Emir in Iran: ‘De-escalation’ the only way forward Emir

Qatari Emir in Iran: ‘De-escalation’ the only way forward

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said the only solution to rising tensions in the Middle…

Saudi king invites Qatar emir to Riyadh summit: Doha Emir

Saudi king invites Qatar emir to Riyadh summit: Doha

Saudi King Salman has invited Qatar’s emir to a meeting next week of the Gulf regional bloc in…


Popular in GULF TV

About DFI – Doha Film Institute Video


Doha Film Institute is dedicated to film appreciation, education, and building a dynamic film industry in Qatar that…

Latest videos in GULF TV


Qatar Events




Culture News



Science & Technology

Science & Technology


Government News