A senior finance official has rejected calls for the United Arab Emirates to abandon a policy of rationalized spending introduced two years ago when oil prices hit a low.
Jawgaan Al-Thaheryi, finance department deputy, told Al-Bayan newspaper the policy would remain intact despite the latest increase in oil prices and no matter how large revenues became.
Al-Thaheryi said the higher oil prices would help cover the budget deficits of the oil producing countries and give governments a chance to spend on new development projects.
Ongoing projects would still fall under "programmed spending" in accordance with a "real need" assessment for the project as was the case in 1998, when the policy of rational spending was instituted as a result the decline in oil prices.
As for new projects, Al-Thaheryi said the government has spent huge amounts of money on infrastructure in the past few years and will continue to spend on maintenances where needed especially on the electrical, water, roads, and housing infrastructure.
Dependence on government spending has eased in the past few years, Al-Thaheryi said. He said the country' s private sector played an important role in activating the economy that is almost completely dependent of government spending.
Large amounts of private sector money were pumped in all sectors of the economy which decreased the almost complete dependence on government funds," Al-Thaheryi told Al-Bayan. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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