The Emirate of Sharjah on Sunday unveiled the 2020 budget with total spending outlay of Dh29.1 billion, higher by 2 per cent compared to 2019 budget. The 2020 budget was announced by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah with higher spending across several sectors including infrastructure, social programmes, economic activities, culture and education.
“Investing in the Emirate’s infrastructure will be the primary goal this year, besides also focusing on Sharjah’s strategic objectives in the economic, social, scientific and cultural sectors. Provision of social support to ensure that the needs of all citizens are adequately met, will also be an essential area of focus during this year,” Sharjah government said in a statement.
Approximately 33 per cent of the general budget is allocated to infrastructure development in the emirate, a growth of 10 per cent over the 2019 budget. While around 36 per cent of the budget is set aside for economic development, about 24 per cent is earmarked for social development, a 1 per cent increase over the 2019 budget. This year’s budget also lays emphasis on support to scientific, cultural and heritage services in order to stimulate creativity, innovation and R&D. “The general budget for this year is considered the largest in the history of the emirate. Stimulating economic growth lies at the heart of this year’s budget as a strategic priority to enhance Sharjah’s economic appeal regionally and globally,” said Shaikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Finance Department.
The budget will create 500 jobs for Emiratis to ensure social stability and sustainable income sources for UAE citizens. “The aim is to ensure financial stability and improve the emirate’s competitiveness by providing a business-friendly environment for local and international investors, and help in the growth of the tourism sector across various fields, including cultural, historical, therapeutic, and recreational tourism,” said Shaikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi.
The spending plan aims to keep macroeconomic performance indicators in line with international standards, including control of inflation rates and rationalizing government spending, he said. In 2020 budget capital projects account for 23 per cent of the total budget with a view of strengthening infrastructure, including the development and improvement of road network, tunnels, and other primary facilities.
The revenues of independent entities are estimated to grow by 1 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. Social assistance accounts for 13 per cent of the 2020 general budget. “The 2020 budget provides a practical framework for implementing the directives and priorities of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and translating the vision and strategy of the Sharjah government from a modern perspective. The budget has, therefore, been linked with the emirate’s economic and social indicators in a way that ensures spurring economic growth and provides social support, and adequate housing opportunities for families to enjoy social stability, security and solidarity,” said Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah Finance Department