Qatar has announced a budget of around SR210.5 billion, its highest in the last five fiscal years. Qatar plans to spend 1.9 percent more in 2020 compared to its SR206.6 billion expenditure in 2019.
The increase in Qatar’s budget is partly to complete infrastructural projects in the country in light of the approaching Fifa World Cup in 2022.
The finance ministry of Qatar said in a statement, “The 2020 budget is designed to achieve efficiency in the current expenditure while maintaining the allocations required for the completion of major approved projects.”
The ministry also pointed out that revenues in 2020 are expected to stay unchanged at SR211 billion, (given oil prices stay at $55 per barrel).
This will result in a surplus of SR500 million next year compared with a surplus of SR4.4 billion this year.
Qatar’s budget also stresses on investments in the development of new housing areas, undertaking food security projects, and the establishment of infrastructure and facilities in free zones, special economic zones, and industrial and logistics zones.
Allocations to salaries and wages have also increased by 3.3 percent year-on-year to SR59 billion. The increase is a result of the budgeted headcount increase necessary to operate several recently completed projects which include educational institutions and healthcare centers.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed ties with Qatar accusing it of links to extremist groups and being too close to Iran. Since then, Qatar has been under an economic and diplomatic boycott.
Qatar has denied these charges and increased trade with partners outside the Middle Eastern region. The country also plans to increase its gas production and enter new markets.