Qatar reveals record budget was all over the local media of the small Gulf country’s record revenues are disseminated throughout the world. Qatar has for the 2014-15 fiscal year revealed a record budget indeed, as it drives to complete and implement a range of new development projects, ahead of the 2022 football World Cup.
The gas-rich state’s budget for the fiscal year is almost $62 billion (225.7 billion riyals), and has been approved by the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Al-Thani. This was confirmed by the Finance Minister, Ali Sharif al-Emadi. The budget is up 3.5 per cent from last year and marks a huge push for key infrastructure projects, as well as investments in the health and education sectors.
The huge budget for the year beginning on April 1 2014 is set against a projected economic growth of 6 per cent during 2014, and an oil price of $65 per barrel.
Of the total budget, around $24 billion (87.5 riyals) has been allocated for key projects. These include the construction and implementation of mega infrastructure and transport projects necessary for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup, including rail projects. There will also be significant investments in the state’s health and education sectors. In total, spending on health, education, infrastructure and transport will represent 54 per cent of the overall budget, up from 48 per cent in the last fiscal year.
Qatar may be a tiny state, but the OPEC member has the third largest gas reserves in the world, producing around 77 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. This makes it the world’s largest supplier of natural gas.