x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE federal budget grows by more than Dh700m

In a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed said the funds would be used by the Government to complete development projects.

ABU DHABI // More than Dh700 million has been added to the federal budget, which expires at the end of the year.

In a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed said the funds would be used by the Government to complete development projects.

Adding Dh705.6m to the budget was a recommendation from the Cabinet’s financial and economic committee.

The funds will be distributed to nine entities. This is the second time the budget has been increased this year.

The initial budget for the year, as passed by the Cabinet last October, was Dh44.6 billion, 39 per cent of which went to social services, 22 per cent to security, 37 per cent to other expenses, and 2 per cent to infrastructure and building.

Last year, the Federal National Council grilled Obaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, for three hours, questioning the lack of funding for some ministries.

This year, the FNC agreed to a Dh431m increase in the current budget to cover deficits run up by more than 10 bodies, including the National Media Council, which asked for an extra Dh19m, and the tourism authority, which wanted Dh463,000.

Other ministries requesting additional funding included Foreign Affairs; Labour, Culture, Youth and Community Development; and Defence.

In the meeting, the Cabinet also approved the UAE’s second contribution to the International Monetary Fund on the Trust Fund for Growth and Reduction of Poverty.

osalem@thenational.ae