Oman: 2015 budget law includes USD 36.6 billion in investments and expenditures
The year’s first royal decree issued by Sultan Oaboos bin Said al Said ratified the general State budget bill for 2015. Public expenditures are to increase by 4.5% compared with 2014 and level off at 14.1 billion Omani Rial (46.6 billion dollars) compared with 11.6 billion estimated revenues. Investments will be mainly earmarked for infrastructure projects and the oil & gas sector and to subsidise what are mainly government-operated industries.
The principal projects include the first tract of a national railway line between Sohar and Buraimi, the first and second phase in the construction of a motor way from Adam to Thumrait, the building of an integrated fisheries and fish processing complex. In addition, other infrastructure projects will involve the Port of Duqm and the creation of a new desalinisation plant in Qurayyat, a new residential area in Liwa, a refurbished sewage network in the Governorate of Muscat and waste-water treatment plants in various governorates around the country. Three large-scale hotels are also to be built by the State-run Omran, along with several plants for the production of meat and dairy products by OFIH, and support will go to numerous construction projects run by Orpic and Liwa Plastic. Approximately 9.6 billion Rial – the same amount as last year – has been earmarked for social sectors such as healthcare, education, housing and training. The budget figure for education, in particular, will amount to approximately 3.3 billion Omani Rial (21.3 of total expenditures). The healthcare sector will be assigned 1.6 billion Rial (approximately 11.3% of total public spending), with the announced goal of the construction of 11 new hospitals and health centres around the country.