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Posted On: 13 December 2018 08:58 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:02 pm

Qatar increases national budget for 2019 - here's how it's being spent

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His Highness (H.H.) the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani has issued the 2019 Budget Law. Salient points of the budget are as follows:

  • The State budget is forecast to achieve a QR 4.3bn surplus.
  • Expected revenues are based on an oil price assumption of $ 55/barrel.
  • Major projects are allocated 43.3% of total expenditure.
  • New projects worth QR 48bn will be awarded in 2019.
  • QR 12bn is allocated over 5 years to develop new housing for nationals.
  • Funds are allocated for the expansion of Hamad International Airport, with a total cost of QR 10bn.

H.H. the Amir, has issued Law Number (23) of the year 2018, endorsing the State Budget for 2019 that will commence on January 1, 2019. The budget forecasts a surplus of QR 4.3bn, the first budget surplus in 3 years.

The surplus is a result of higher energy prices in international markets along with increasing non-oil revenues. The 2019 budget assumes an average oil price of $ 55/barrel, compared with $ 45/barrel in the 2018 budget. Revenue is anticipated to reach QR 211.0bn, up 20.5% compared with the budgeted revenue of QR 175.1bn in 2018.

Budget of the 2019 fiscal year

Qatar Annual Budget

Expenditure is set at QR 206.7bn, up by 1.7% compared to the QR 203.2bn budgeted in 2018. Accordingly, the budget is expected to achieve a surplus of QR 4.3bn.

Based on directives from H.H. the Amir, the 2019 budget is designed to achieve efficiency in current expenditure while maintaining the necessary allocations for the completion of major approved projects that contribute to the sustainable development targets of Qatar 2030 Vision. These span economic, social, human and environmental development. The budget also focuses on providing the necessary funds for the development of new housing areas for nationals, enhancing food security projects, and the establishment of infrastructure and facilities in free zones, special economic zones, and industrial and logistics zones.

Allocations to Chapter I (Salaries and Wages) have increased by 9.4% to QR 57.1bn, compared with QR 52.2bn in 2018. This rise is the result of increasing hiring to secure required staff to operate several newly completed projects, especially in the education and health sectors. Hiring also increased in the defence, security and public safety sectors.

2018 expenditure details

Expenditure on main sectors in Qatar

Expenditure allocated to Chapter IV (Major Projects) declined by 3.6% to QR 89.6bn, compared with QR 92.9bn in 2018. This decline is the result of the completion of some major infrastructure projects. Chapter IV allocations are projected to continue declining gradually during the coming few years, as more projects are completed. Despite the drop in allocations, Chapter IV continued to represent the largest share of expenditure, at 43.3%. The focus continues to be on completing projects in leading sectors including healthcare, education and transportation, along with those related to the hosting of World Cup in 2022.

In 2019, new projects with a total cost of QR 48bn are expected to be awarded out of a portfolio of committed projects worth QR 421bn. These new projects will boost economic growth in the country, especially in non-oil sectors.

1. Healthcare sector

The allocation for the health sector is QR 22.7bn, representing 11.0% of the total expenditure. Major projects to improve health care services include:

  • Expansions in Hamad Medical Corporation facilities
  • National Laboratories premises
  • The completion of new 4 health centres (Al Wajbah, Muaither, Qatar University and Alwaab)
  • Commencing construction of 5 new health centres (South of Wakrah, Al Mashaf, Al Saad, Al Khor and Ain Khaled)

2. Education sector

The education sector is allocated QR 19.2bn in the budget, representing 9.3% of total expenditure. Major projects in the education sector include:

  • Facilities for the medicine, pharmacology, engineering and law schools at Qatar University
  • Other Qatar University facilities (student housing, new lecture halls and Al Rawdah premises)
  • Expansion in the Community College
  • Ministry of Education headquarters
  • Two new schools for Qatar Academy
  • The establishment of other new schools with a total cost of QR 6.8bn over 5 years

3. Infrastructure projects

Infrastructure projects are allocated QR 33.0bn, 16.0% of total expenditure. The sectors covered include road, water, electricity and sewerage networks, along with other public facilities.

The main infrastructure projects under construction include:

  • Al Bustan Highway
  • Al Rayyan/Dukhan Road
  • Al Khor Coastal Road
  • Al Furousiya Road
  • North Road
  • Wakrah Expressway
  • Wakrah Bypass
  • Lusail Expressway
  • Expansions in the water and electricity networks
  • Development of new housing areas for nationals
  • The Rail – Doha Metro (allocations of QR 12bn)
  • Lusail Light Train
  • Qatar Public Transportation Programme
  • Hamad International Airport expansion

4. Housing areas

The 2019 budget includes allocations for the development of new housing areas for nationals, including the provision of roads, water, electricity and sewerage networks. The plan to provide new housing areas for nationals will cost QR 12.0bn over 5 years. New land areas will be distributed to nationals gradually after the completion of required infrastructure, according to the approved timetable.

5. Transportation and communications sector

The Transportation and Communications sector is allocated QR 16.4bn, 7.9% of total expenditure in 2019. Most of the allocations will go to the Rail project, Doha Metro, while QR 1.0bn was allocated for the expansion of Hamad International Airport as part of a wider plan worth QR 10.0bn to enhance the capabilities of the airport to offer the best aviation and cargo services. There are also funds assigned to Qatar Public Transportation Programme, which is expected to cost QR 3.0bn in 2019 - 2021. The main transportation projects under construction include:

  • The Rail – Doha Metro (allocations of QR12bn)
  • Lusail Light Train
  • Qatar Public Transportation Program
  • Hamad International Airport expansion

What do you think of this new budget for 2019? How do you think it will affect you as an individual? Do let us know your thoughts in the Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!