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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

Sharjah approves Dh25.7bn budget for 2019 with 600 jobs for nationals

The emirate has the third-largest economy in the UAE and is forecast to grow 2.7 per cent this year, acccording to Moody's

According to the new budget, salaries would account for 43 per cent, with 23 per cent going to the development of infrastructure in Sharjah. Jeff Topping / The National
According to the new budget, salaries would account for 43 per cent, with 23 per cent going to the development of infrastructure in Sharjah. Jeff Topping / The National

Sharjah has approved a budget of Dh25.7 billion for 2019, a 10 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

The additional expenses will be spent on public safety as well as capital expenditure, according to the programme approved by the emirate's Supreme Council.

"The 2019 budget will ensure that the emirate of Sharjah continues to grow and develop for it to become a major player on the world economic map," Sharjah Central Finance Department chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi said in a statement on Sunday. "It will also ensure the financial stability of the emirate while taking into account the business costs for both local and international investors."

Sharjah’s economy, the third largest in the UAE, is forecast to grow 2.7 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2019 thanks to an increase in capital expenditure and higher oil prices, according to a Moody’s Investors Service report published last month. Sharjah has an A3 stable rating from Moody's.

According to the new budget, salaries would account for 43 per cent, with 23 per cent going to the development of infrastructure in the emirate. Around 41 per cent of the budget is allocated to economic development, with 22 per cent dedicated to social development. Capital projects account for around 22 per cent of overall budget, which also promises 600 new jobs for nationals. Government revenues have been forecast to grow at a rate of 20 per cent next year, with social support assistance accounting for 11 per cent of the budget.

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“The budget indicators are all in line with international standards from inflation and sector expenditure as well as other economic indicators. We have also developed a more strategic expenditure framework within governmental departments,” added Sheikh Mohammed.

Moody's said last month that Sharjah's economy would benefit from the overall growth in the UAE economy, particularly Dubai, and will receive a boost from the implementation of five per cent VAT introduced at the start of this year.

The ratings agency has projected overall UAE GDP growth at 2.2 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2019, up from 0.8 per cent expansion in 2017.

Sharjah’s fiscal deficit, which narrowed to 2.8 per cent of GDP in 2017, will dip further in 2018 thanks to VAT revenue and implementation of other measures, the ratings agency had said at the time.

Updated: December 9, 2018 05:30 PM

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