UAE Cabinet approves Dh51.4 billion zero deficit federal budget for 2018

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Staff Report

Sharjah – The UAE Cabinet, which was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the federal budget for the years 2018-21 with a total of Dh201.1 billion, of which Dh51.4 billion is for the year 2018 alone, with a zero deficit. The budget is the largest one ever to be allocated to the Federal government.

This announcement came during the extraordinary session held at the Sharjah International Book Fair on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed asserted that the Federal government, led by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, continues to achieve the happiness of its people and ensure a secure and decent life for them.

“All strategies and budget plans are invested in the service of the UAE society in the first place, and we will spare no efforts in providing all the requirements for our people’s happiness and well-being. The UAE people are our most valuable asset,” the leader said.

The Cabinet adopted during its session the general federal budget for the fiscal year 2018 with estimated revenues of Dh51.38 billion and an estimated expenditure of Dh51.38 billion with zero deficit, in line with the government’s objective to improve the efficiency of financial planning and its implementation to achieve the UAE Vision 2021.

The budget focused primarily on utilising resources to achieve the highest prosperity and well-being of the citizens and residents, emphasising education, healthcare and community wellbeing as key pillars of development.

The federal budget for the 2018 fiscal year was distributed across various sectors. The social development and social benefits sector saw Dh26.3 billion earmarked for social development programmes, that is 43.5 per cent of the total budget, of which Dh10.4 billion was allocated for general education and higher education, totaling 17.1 per cent of the overall budget, and Dh4.5 billion allocated to the health sector, or 7.4 per cent of the total budget.

The government affairs sector was allocated Dh22.1 billion, 36.5 percent of the total budget. A total of Dh3.5 billion was assigned to federal projects implemented by federal agencies.

The budget approval came during the first extraordinary session of the Cabinet, held after the recent restructuring of the government, in the presence of Lt.-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Cabinet also adopted the restructuring of the Ministerial Council for Development, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Federal Decree-Law No. 08 of 2017 on Value Added Tax, as well as a number of resolutions and initiatives on the agenda and approved a number of international treaties were also adopted at the meeting. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com