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Oman to spend $2.4bn on new projects in 2010

Oman to spend $2.4bn on new projects in 2010. (REUTERS)

By Staff Writer

Oman has allocated OR937 million ($2.4bn, Dh8.8bn) to build new projects in 2010 to create thousands of jobs for nationals, the economy minister said yesterday.

About 5,000 Omani nationals look for jobs every year in a job market contested by foreigners who make up 25 per cent of total population of three million.

"The OR937m will be spent on projects that will create 4,000 jobs for nationals in the labour market this year," said Economy Minister Ahmad Mekki.

The projects include water desalination plants, schools, roads and hospitals, he said.

"In a separate account, oil and gas production will cost OR1.45 billion this year, which represents 20 of the total expenditure allocated for this year," Mekki said.

The Gulf state produced oil at an average rate of 810,000 barrels per day in 2009 and has said it expected to reach an output of 900,000 bpd by the end of 2010. Oman said in November it had allocated an expenditure of OR7.18bn with revenues estimated at OR6.38bn in 2010, showing a budget deficit of OR800m.

Oman's minister of finance forecast GDP in real terms for 2010 at 6.1 per cent, and inflation at 3.5 per cent, without giving comparative figures for the previous year.

Mekki, who is also the minister of national economy minister, said total debt of Oman as of the end of 2009 stood at OR722m.


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