The Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently held the second meeting of the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council for 2017 in its headquarter in the Dubai. The meeting was headed by HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF and Chairman of the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council, in the presence of HE Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector at MoF. The meeting covered elements on the latest developments of financial policies at a UAE level.
The meeting was attended by Mohammed Ali bin Zayed Al Falasi, Deputy Governor of the UAE Central Bank, members of the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council from UAE governments and representatives from local finance department, including HE Arif Abdul Rahman Ahli, Executive Director of Budget and Planning Department of Finance in Dubai; HE Waleed Ibrahim Al Sayegh, Director General of the Central Finance Department of Sharjah; HE Marwan Al Ali, Acting Director General of the Department of Finance in Ajman; HE Mohammed Saif Al Talay, General Director of the Department of Financial Auditing in Umm Al Quwain; HE Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, Managing Director of the Investment and Development office (IDO) Government of Ras Al Khaimah and HE Youssef Abdullah Al Awadi, Deputy Director of DoF in Fujairah.
HE Younis Haji Al Khoori stressed the Council’s significant role in unifying the vision and direction, coordinating on financial policies related to increasing revenues and negotiating current financial matters that are affecting the UAE’s economic development. HE Al Khoori said: “Meetings held with the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council give the opportunity to study and develop financial policies at the UAE level, develop solutions and strategic plans to develop the financial systems and ensure its integrity as well as enhance the UAE’s competitiveness in international forums."
The agenda of the second meeting of the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council included a review to implement the recommendations from the previous meeting, provide the Council members with a copy of the documents to provide financial data for health and education sector and invite the members of the Council to the final session of the Article IV consultations scheduled for 14 May, 2017.
The meeting also discussed a number of elements, including a presentation by the World Bank on advancing financial coordination, reviewing smart reporting of financial statements of the federal governments, enhancing transparency as it represents basis for administrative decisions as well as identifying mechanisms to manage cash inflows, outflows and cash liquidity.
The meeting addressed the Ministry of Finance’s presentation, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on the UAE’s plan to reduce Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). This plan is inclusive of four main steps which are; combating harmful tax practices through the exchange of tax information in accordance with the Common Reporting Standards (CSR) between countries; Avoiding the use of tax agreements in tax evasion; opening lines of communication regards the sending of detailed reports related to tax authorities of one country to tax authorities of another with activities conducted under the Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC) agreement, the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) and other information agreements; and the application of more effective mechanisms for dispute settlement.
The UAE Central Bank also reviewed financial adjustments to reduce oil prices.
The Government Financial Policy Coordination Council was formed by a resolution from the UAE Cabinet. Its members consist of the Undersecretary of MoF, representatives from local UAE governments and a representative from the UAE Central Bank. The Council holds three periodical meetings annually with different councillors appointed every three years.