x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

UAE Cabinet approves federal Government budget of Dh46 billion for next year

UAE Cabinet approves federal Government budget of Dh46 billion for next year.

abu dhabi // The Cabinet has approved a Dh46 billion federal Government budget for next year, half of it devoted to social welfare projects. It represents a 1.5 per cent increase in spending from this year.

The plan forms part of a Dh140 billion general federal budget for 2014 to 2016, up by 15 per cent compared with previous years, the state news agency Wam said, without specifying the earlier time period.

A further 21 per cent of next year’s budget will go towards the general and higher education sectors. The money will be spent on improving the general and academic excellence programmes in local universities.

Another Dh18.5bn has been allocated for the government affairs sector to upgrade and boost delivery of services to citizens locally and abroad, the statement said.

A total of Dh3.7 billion was set aside for the health sector, Dh1.4bn for housing schemes and Dh400m for the Government’s marriage fund.

The federal budget accounts for about a tenth of total public spending in the UAE, with larger chunks coming from the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other emirates.

The initial budget for this year, as passed by the Cabinet last October, was Dh44.6bn. But last month the Cabinet approved an additional Dh705.6 million to help the Government to complete development projects.

The statement did not specify whether next year’s budget would keep federal Government finances in balance. No deficit was posted in the original budget for this year.

tarnold@thenational.ae