Sharjah, United Arab Emirates — His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah approved the emirate’s general budget with total expenditures amounting to about (32.2) billion dirhams. The general budget for this year aims to achieve financial sustainability and enhance the economic competitiveness of the emirate. The process of this budget was based on strengthening the financial foundations to enhance economic competitiveness, cultural, scientific and tourism leadership, and strengthening government capabilities in facing global and regional challenges faced by global economies, including the state of inflation, high-interest rates and economic stagnation, which is certainly reflected in all countries. In light of this, the Sharjah government, using Its financial and economic tools are working hard to reduce the negative effects of these challenges on the financial and economic reality of the Emirate of Sharjah and to protect citizens, residents, companies and institutions operating in it. The government’s general budget has adopted many goals, priorities and strategic indicators with an economic, social, scientific and cultural dimensions. Perhaps the most prominent of these goals is to promote investment in infrastructure and the rest of the economic activities, which enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and the sustainability of its financial position and to provide social support in various forms and methods that serve citizens and work to meet different life needs and guarantees them social stability and economic well-being, which motivates them to give the best and contribute seriously and effectively in making the Emirate of Sharjah a scientific platform, a cultural platform and a tourist environment and distinctive economic and enhance its cultural, economic and financial status on the local, regional and international map. The budget has worked with its objectives and methodology to use and develop the best means and technologies that stimulate the economy, development and financial sustainability, as well as the growing interest in the resources and human energies of citizens and enhance their role in the processes of construction and sustainable development, which It seeks to achieve this budget during the fiscal year 2023. The budget worked to control and rationalize spending in areas that may not add value to the competitiveness and financial sustainability index, to stimulate the efficiency of managing government spending by government agencies in the Emirate of Sharjah. Therefore, expenditures decreased by (12%) from the 2022 budget, but without affecting the most important areas. These include employment, economic and social development.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Head of the Central Finance Department in Sharjah, indicated that the general budget of the Emirate has adopted many strategic and financial goals and priorities, which reflected the lofty directives of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and his comprehensive and renewed vision, as well as the directives of the Executive Council and the strategic vision of the Central Finance Department, which works to achieve the highest levels of financial sustainability and the efficiency of managing government financial resources and promoting the Emirate’s competitiveness in various economic and social fields, infrastructure and support the capabilities of government agencies in providing government services according to indicators set by the performance budget applied in the Government of Sharjah, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships with the private sector and providing incentive packages that ensure them to continue advancing the wheel of growth, development and development for the Emirate, Developing techniques for financing the general budget in search of the best financing opportunities available internally and externally to ensure the financial sustainability of the government.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi added: “The general budget for the year 2023 is a budget with two dimensions, which are a dimension of economic and social development and infrastructure, and the other dimension is strategic, represented in developing and strengthening the financial sustainability of the government, as it adopted strategic priorities in the field of stimulating the emirate’s economy by granting discounts and reviewing In many service fees to reduce the cost of business for customers and investors, and the budget also focused on providing many developmental and social requirements to ensure the achievement of economic growth rates, which contribute to strengthening the role of Sharjah on the regional and global economic map, ensuring financial stability and improving the level of competitiveness of the Emirate by providing distinguished financial and strategic services and taking into account the level of providing an attractive environment for local and international investors, and providing a tourist environment in various fields, including cultural, heritage, therapeutic, scientific and recreational tourism, and that All data, indicators and results are within international financial standards in terms of inflation rates, sectoral spending and the rest of the macroeconomic indicators, as well as strengthening policy frameworks for controlling and rationalizing government spending.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi said: “The budget reinforces the emirate’s strategic direction in developing infrastructure in vital facilities and areas, preserving the environment and public health, and expanding the role of tourism in the emirate through tourism and service projects that were supervised by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, which have achieved and will achieve added value.” for the Emirate as an effective station for tourism, scientific and cultural attractions, and laying the foundations for a promising investment environment, developing areas of investment in human resources and increasing employment opportunities, which is one of the strategic priorities of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and working hard to support government agencies financially and provide all necessary financing requirements to enhance their capabilities in implementing their strategic and operational initiatives and projects. It also ensures the achievement of the best-distinguished services for citizens and residents in all areas of life per the best standards and practices that achieve the well-being and happiness of society, where Sharjah has a distinguished position on the global cultural, scientific and tourism map, in addition to the fact that Sharjah’s attainment of this distinguished position is a result of the strategic vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr For cultural and civilizational creativity and other achievements that we are all proud of.
For his part, His Excellency Waleed Al-Sayegh, Director General of the Central Finance Department in Sharjah, stressed that at a time when the world is witnessing economic and financial developments that may be reflected in cases of financial and economic instability in many countries as a result of many international economic practices, including high inflation rates and an increase in interest rates, which may It leads to economic stagnation and limits the investment and financing capabilities of many international and local economies. The Emirate of Sharjah is a living and interactive part of the international and local environment. Therefore, the Sharjah government, through the general budget, has taken into account these challenges and is working also in two dimensions, it achieves financial sustainability and enhances economic competitiveness, in addition to working to provide social and employment requirements and needs, and enhances the government’s capabilities in building and developing the emirate’s infrastructure, as the process of implementing capital projects and initiatives continues. The 2023 budget has worked to provide a practical framework for implementing the directives and priorities of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, for this budget to be the strategic tool that translates the vision and strategy of the government with a modern and developed perspective. Therefore, the process of preparing the budget has taken place in the light of preparing a long-term financial plan for the government, in addition to linking the general budget of the Emirate with many economic and social indicators, including increasing the level of development and improvement of the infrastructure of the Emirate, increasing economic competitiveness, and strengthening the role of the private sector through strategic partnerships to ensure that it continues to contribute to the economic development process. The budget also works to provide social support and provide job opportunities and adequate housing For families to enjoy stability, reassurance, and family solidarity, which His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah referred to on more than one occasion, and which represents an obsession for His Highness seeking to achieve a comfortable life and lasting prosperity for citizens and residents on the land of this smiling Emirate. In the same direction, the government has worked to diversify the sources of funding the budget to ensure financial sustainability of the projects and initiatives that His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah directs to implement in various economic, social, tourism, scientific and infrastructure sectors in a professional manner and in accordance with the best international standards and practices in this regard.
His Excellency Waleed Al-Sayegh indicated that the general budget decreased by (12%) compared to the 2023 budget, and the government continued to support the capital projects budget to ensure continuity in meeting the spending needs on these projects in 2023, and this budget constitutes (14%) of the general budget As for salaries and wages, they constituted (28%) of the general budget for the year 2023, and the same applies to operating expenses, which constituted (30%) for the year 2023 with a decrease of (4%) compared to the 2022 budget, as for the support and aid budget, it constituted about (13%) of the general budget and achieved an increase of (5%) compared to the 2022 budget, while the loan repayments and interest budget accounted for (13%) of the total budget. General Assembly for the year 2023, with an increase of (65%) over the 2022 budget, and this is an enhancement of the government’s ability and financial solvency to pay all its obligations.
In general, and to enable the government to achieve its strategic and operational goals and initiatives, the Finance Department has worked to enhance the stability and financial sustainability of the government and work to enhance the efficiency of controlling government spending while working to meet the requirements of government agencies and improve their ability to meet development requirements and develop the level of rationalization of government spending.
The process of classifying the budget on the basis of economic sectors is one of the most important tools that reflect the strategic direction of the government. The infrastructure sector ranked first among the sectors of the general budget, constituting 35% of the total general budget for the year 2023, and this reflects the exceptional interest of the government in developing infrastructure. For the Emirate as the main pillar of the development and sustainability process and attracting foreign and local investments in all vital sectors.
While the economic development sector comes in second place in relative importance, as it constituted about (34%) of the total general budget for the year 2023, with an increase of (1%) over the budget for the year 2022. As for the social development sector, it came in third place, as its relative importance constituted about (23%). %) of the total public budget for the year 2023, in order to provide the best services, support and assistance to citizens and residents of the Emirate. While the relative importance of the government administration, security and safety sector constituted about (8%) of the total general budget for the year 2023.
As for the government’s general revenues, at a time when these revenues constitute the main source of financing the general budget, as the government has taken an exceptional interest in developing these revenues, improving collection efficiency, and developing smart and technical tools and methods that enhance this trend, and it is clear from the analysis of public revenue trends, that operational revenues (69%) of the total revenue budget for the year 2023, with an increase of (11%) over the operating revenues for the year 2022, while the percentage of capital revenues reached (11%) for the year 2023, as for tax revenues, they constituted about (10%) of total public revenues, with an increase of about (48%) over tax revenues for the year 2022, and in the same direction, customs revenues accounted for (4%) ) and an increase of about (4%) over customs revenues for the year 2022, while oil and gas revenues constituted about (6%) of the total revenue budget for the year 2023, with an increase of about (96%) compared to oil and gas revenues for the year 2022.