State Council refers the Draft State Budget for FY2021 to the Council of Ministers following discussions
06 Dec 2020
The State Council today referred the DraftState’s General Budget for FY 2021to the Council of Ministers, together with the recommendations of the State Council and Majlis A’Shura after discussing the report of the Council's Expanded Economic Committee on the Draft Budget, with the addition of amendments following the Sitting discussions.
This came at the second Ordinary Sitting of the second annual session of the seventh term of the State Council, chaired by HE.Sheikh Abdul Malik bin Abdullah Al Khalili, Council Chairman in the presence of the honorable council members and the Secretary-General of the Council.
The Council Chairman in his opening speech welcomed the honorable members, reviewed the agenda of the sitting, which he stated is devoted to discussing the draft of the State’s General Budget for the fiscal year 2021, the report of the Economic Committee and the heads of the standing committees regarding it, in addition to reviewing of the tenth five-year development plan (2021-2025) and the report of the Expanded Economic Committee on it.
Subsequently, the Head of the Economic Committee of the Council delivered the statement of the Expanded Economic Committee on the Draft General Budget for the fiscal year 2021 and noted that the tenth five-year development plan (2021-2025) and the Draft General Budget for the fiscal year 2021 coincide with an important stage of the development path in Sultanate; and on the basis of the first phase of Oman Vision 2040, in light of the current exceptional circumstances caused by the decline in oil prices and the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, and its implications on national economic activity, on public finances estimates, economic growth expectations, employment levels, in addition to the social impacts on all society segments.
The Committee Head stressed the importance of strengthening efforts to confront the challenges facing the tenth five-year development plan and limiting its effects on the national economy and on the Omani citizen. He further added that the Expanded Economic Committee discussed the tenth five-year development plan 2021-2025, along with the Draft of the State’s General Budget for the fiscal year 2021 and the fiscal balance program 2021-2024 as integrated elements with mutual effects, mentioning that the "financial balance" program is considered as a medium plan. The term (2021-2024) represents the path on which the Draft General Budget for the fiscal year 2021 was based, with the aim of giving the budget a strategic dimension and greater flexibility in adapting to changes in the revenue and expenditure sides.
The committee head explained that the tenth five-year development plan aims to achieve five goals represented in promoting human development, preserving human capital, stimulating economic activity in partnership with the private sector, supporting the role of small and medium enterprises, expanding the base of economic diversification, developing mechanisms and programs for productive structures, developing the macroeconomic environment and achieving financial sustainability, in addition to achieving balanced development for the governorates.
Additionally he indicated that the Expanded Economic Committee concluded with several recommendations and visions on the draft Budget, including stressing the importance of developing policies to expand the production base, and activating initiatives and activities that would increase dependence on non-oil sectors, and untapped resources and benefit from the comparative advantages, expand revenue streams and provide the opportunity for more investments and benefit from the capabilities and high-cost infrastructure provided by the Omani economy.
At the conclusion of the discussions, the Chairman of the Council expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by the Ministry of Finance and Economy in completing the Draft General Budget, the tenth five-year plan and its executive program (2021-2025) within limited time, in light of the changes in the structure of the State’s Administrative apparatus, which led to the establishment of the Ministry of Economy and defined its terms of reference, and this coincided with the need to prepare the plan and announce it on. As well, he thanked the honorable members of the Expanded Economic Committee for their efforts exerted to study the draft Budget.
He expressed his hope that the views of the honorable members would contribute to enriching the project and combine with the government's efforts to achieve financial sustainability, and strengthening of the Omani economy and enable it to face challenges.
The Council continued discussing the items on the agenda and approved the minutes of the first Ordinary Sitting of the second annual session of the seventh term, and viewed the report of the General Secretariat on the Council’s activities.