The Emirate of Sharjah marked its year-end with the approval of a General budget of 2018. The budget was approved by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah with total expenses of about AED 22.1 billion.
The 2018 budget witnesses increase spending on public safety and capital improvement projects. It aims at achieving government strategic priorities, providing best services, enhancing financial sustainability and improving macroeconomic indicators through the adoption of many strategic goals and indicators with an economic, social, scientific and cultural dimension.
“2017 has been a successful year and we intend to continue the positive momentum in 2018. The coming year will see varied developments which will not only serve beneficial to the citizens but also help us achieve the financial stability,” said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
One of the most important objectives of the 2018 budget is an investment in the infrastructure of Sharjah and the provision of social support in various forms and methods that serve the citizens address their living needs and ensure a prosperous future for them. Additionally, the budget also aims to encourage the citizens to strengthen their role in sustainable building and development, which is in line with UAE Vision 2021.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi, Head of the Sharjah Central Finance Department said, “The budget of Sharjah has been based on many strategic, operational and financial fundamentals and bases, reflecting the directives of HH the Ruler of Sharjah and his renewed vision, as well as the directives of the Executive Council and the vision of the Department of Finance, which are represented in the development of an innovative financial system to promote financial sustainability, achieve economic prosperity and pay exceptional attention to the development of infrastructure and community services.”
It was noted that the total spending allocations increased by 6 percent in 2018 compared to the budget of 2017. Despite the increase in spending, the government of Sharjah has developed varied other strategic plans that maintain the financial stability. These include promoting trade and commerce, highlighting the cultural history of the emirate, reducing the dependence on oil and also encouraging start-ups and young entrepreneurs to pursue their own interests.
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of the Sharjah Central Finance Department, said, “The budget of 2018 thoroughly and objectively reflects the directives of HH the Ruler of Sharjah that this budget would be a strategic tool that translates the vision and strategy of the government with a modern and sophisticated perspective. Therefore, the budgeting process has been carried out in light of the medium-term expenditure framework, in addition to linking Sharjah budget with many economic and social indicators, including the development of economic growth and the increase of support and assistance to the categories referred to by HH the Ruler of Sharjah in several occasions. His Highness is deeply interested in these categories as he seeks to achieve welfare and lasting prosperity for all citizens.
The major proposed items of the budget include-
- Sharjah budget of 2018 is AED 22.1 Billion, with 6% growth rate in comparison with the budget of 2017.
- Salaries account for 36% of the current budget.
- 24% of the budget goes to the development and improvement of Sharjah infrastructure.
- 44% of the budget is allocated to the economic development sector.
- 23% of the budget is allocated to the social development sector.
- The budget of capital projects amounted to about 14% of the total budget of the government.
- The budget will provide 1500 jobs for citizens.
- Government revenues will witness a growth rate of 5% in 2018.
- It has increased the attention of HH the Ruler of Sharjah by providing social support and assistance to the beneficiaries in pursuit to achieve welfare and social justice to account for 6% of the total budget.