11:12 pm - Sunday 24 May 2015

$26-bn budget for 2012

By staff - Sun Jan 01, 6:48 am

AFP (MUSCAT) — The sultanate of Oman announced Monday a $26-billion budget for 2012 with a deficit expected to reach $3.12 billion, or five percent of its gross domestic product.

Expenditure was projected to hit 10 billion rials ($26 billion), up 9.0 percent from 2011, and revenues estimated at 8.8 billion rials ($22.85 billion), said financial affairs minister Darwish al-Balushi.

Balushi told a news conference that oil and gas should account for 81 percent of the revenues, at a slightly conservative average price of $75 per barrel, and daily production of 915,000 barrels.

Oil production in the non-OPEC country reached 159.07 million barrels in the first half of 2011 with 878,800 barrels produced per day, up 2.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

The government plans to partly cover its budget deficit through issuing domestic bonds worth 200 million rials ($520 million), the minister said.

World oil prices, which currently hover at around $100 per barrel, helped Oman to register a budget surplus last year.

Oman reportedly booked a budget surplus of 830.1 million rials ($2.2 billion) in the first 10 months of last year, thanks to the high oil prices.

The budget lays out plans for the creation of 36,000 jobs in the public sector and military, in addition to 2,000 new work places in government companies.

The government created around 94,000 jobs in the same three sectors in 2011, a year that saw unprecedented protests by people demanding employment and an end to corruption.

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