The Ministry of Finance said that the Budgeted Expenditure of the State Budget for 2020 is the highest in the past 5 fiscal years, reflecting the country's commitment to the completion of multiple development projects across multiple sectors, including those related to National Development Strategy 2018-2022. Expenditure is estimated at QR210.5bn, up by 1.9% compared with QR206.6bn in 2019.
In a press release on Monday, the Ministry said that the 2020 budget assumes an average oil price of $55/barrel, the same level as included in the 2019 budget. Total Revenue is forecast at QR211.0bn, the same as in the 2019 budget, it added.
Based on the directives from H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the 2020 budget is designed to achieve efficiency in the current expenditure while maintaining the allocations required for the completion of major approved projects. These contribute to the sustainable development targets of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which focuses on economic, social, human, and environmental development. The budget also places significant importance on providing 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. These projects will support economic growth and diversification.
Allocations to Salaries and Wages have increased to QR59bn, up by 3.3%, compared with QR57.1bn in 2019. This growth is a result of the budgeted headcount increase necessary to operate several recently completed projects, including schools, university facilities, and healthcare centers. Hiring requirements also increased in other sectors such as Transport, given the opening of the Doha Metro.
Expenditure in Major Projects increased by 0.6% to QR90bn, compared with QR89.5bn in 2019. Major Projects, which constitute almost 43% of total expenditure, represent the largest share of the overall budget. It highlights the countrys 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, as per the approved schedule.
New projects worth 11.5bn QAR will be awarded in 2020. The Public Works Authority is responsible for the majority of those projects amounting to QR8.5bn in total. They include various infrastructure projects such as local roads, sewerage networks, landscaping, rainwater drainage and other utility and maintenance services.
The allocation for the healthcare sector is QR22.6bn, representing around 11% of the total expenditure in 2020. Major projects to improve healthcare services include: Expansion in Hamad Medical Corporation facilities; and Establishment of several new healthcare centers.
Education sector is allocated QR22.1bn in the 2020 budget, representing 10.5% of total expenditure. Major projects in the education sector currently underway include expansions in schools and other educational facilities network.
Infrastructure projects account for the largest share of the Major Project expenditure in the 2020 budget. There is a large number of planned initiatives for highway and internal roads development, expansions of the existing roads system, water and electricity networks, sewerage networks, and other public utilities. Funds are also allocated to finance housing projects for nationals and landscape development.
The main infrastructure projects under construction include: The completion of highways including Sabah Al Ahmad Highway; Expansions in the water and electricity networks; Integrated infrastructure in existing urban areas; Developments in the sewerage networks in different regions of the country; and The launch of the Sharq Crossing Project, linking Ras Abu Aboud and Westbay, which is expected to be completed within 4 years.
The 2020 budget includes allocations for the development of 13 new housing areas for nationals, to provide different facilities such as water, electricity and sewerage networks, and roads. The housing plan will cost QR12bn over 5 years. New housing areas will be handed over to nationals after the completion of the required infrastructure, according to the approved schedule.
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