Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, has announced that the estimated value of the third session of the UAE's budget ‘2014-2016’ touches Dh140 billion up by 15 per cent compared with the estimated value of the second session of budget ‘2011-2013’, which amounted to Dh122 billion.
He said at a press conference held on Saturday that the increase reflects the strength of UAE's economy and its ability to continue growing amid preparedness and ability of the federal government to provide better services to the citizens and residents alike.
Sheikh Hamdan continued, in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Ministry of Finance seeks to continue the allocation of funds to the ministries and autonomous federal agencies in order to implement the strategy of the federal government.
He added that the federal government strategy aims at achieving more welfare and prosperity for Emiratis through enhancement of government services, boosting of security and safety, development of education, upgrading of healthcare services, provision of housing and sponsoring of special categories in line with the directives of wise leadership to provide decent living conditions for the pensioned civil and military personnel.
Sheikh Hamdan said the general budget for the fiscal year 2014, which is the first year budget in the third session plan of 2014- 2014 budget, stood at about Dh46.2bn with an increase of Dh1.6bn compared to the last year, during which the total estimated revenues and expenses were of the same value and without deficit.
He pointed out that the volume of the federal general budget combined for the financial year 2014 stood at Dh52.5bn. The revenues and expenses include the ministries and federal authorities.
Sheikh Hamdan said that the Ministry of Finance will continue through the fiscal year to receive the applications for additional allocations from all the federal agencies, adding that the ministry will study and analyse these applications and then submit them to the finance and economic committee.
He stressed that the Ministry's procedure is in line with the statement of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during his endorsement of the federal budget for the years 2014-2016, when he said, "Will not hesitate to increase when we see a need for it."
Regarding the volume of projects of the ministries and federal institutions during this year, he said, "We have to agree first that the UAE has gone far in the development of the basic infrastructure after 42 years of the Union, and we are still progressing to complete the infrastructure projects. The government is embarked on updating and replacing the projects in terms of buildings for ministries, federal institutions, schools, hospitals, health centres and other premises."
Sheikh Hamdan said the total cost of the projects to be implemented by the ministries and federal institutions during 2014- 2016 would be Dh23.8bn, including Dh10.4bn the cost of the federal ministries, Dh8.2bn for development projects of electricity and water- to be implemented by the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa) and Dh5.2bn for the Zayed Housing Programme projects.
He said Dh1.8bn has been allocated for the implementation of 11 projects of the Ministry of Health (MoH). The projects cover hospitals, clinics and health centres. He noted that the budget of MoH surged to Dh3.7bn in 2014 compared to Dh3.4bn last year.
On the date of issuance of the state public debt law, the Minister of Finance said that the federal government has a special vision to develop the government bonds market characterised by strong liquidity and able to support the effectiveness of the financial market at the state level, adding that the establishment of a government securities market would be a key tool to find alternative effective sources of funding that provide funding for major infrastructure projects at the lowest possible cost and at acceptable risk levels.
He pointed out that in the absence of an urgent need for the federal government to issue any bonds, the Ministry of Finance will continue to work on studying of all legal aspects of the public debt law in line with the wise guidance of the federal government, which calls always to follow the conservative approach.
About the health insurance law, Sheikh Hamdan said it referred to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs on June 3, 2012 to address some issues in this respect.
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