Bahrain to spend more than $16b in next two years

June 6, 2011
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Bahrain will spend more than $16 billion (Dh58.76 billion) over the next two fiscal years after King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa approved the two-year budget.

The king’s endorsement came after the upper chamber voted in favour of the spending plan following more than four months of delays.

Total expenditure was estimated at 3.12 billion Bahraini dinars (Dh30.39 billion) for 2011 and 3.07 billion dinars for 2012. The figure is higher than the initially proposed 5.25 billion dinars.

With revenue for the two years estimated at 4.63 billion dinars, the budget for 2011 will result in a deficit of 835 million dinars for this year and 726 million dinars for next year.

Threat

The lower chamber initially threatened not to vote in the budget for not including wage increases, but eventually approved it following pledges to increase spending in different areas from the initial 4.44 billion dinars to 4.63 billion dinars.

According to Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, the Finance Minister, “The budget is a total package that takes into consideration income and spending, and the government currently is spending more than what it has and there is a huge budget deficit that we should consider lowering not increasing.”

“There are ambitions like increases to civil servants’ wages that we cannot fund at the moment, considering that the cost would be more than 200 million dinars,” he said.

Setback

“Even if we increase wages today through borrowing money from international organisations, what will be the fate of our currency and living standards in the future?” he said.

MP Salah Ali, Chairman of the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee, said that “the pay rise would have helped bring Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 back on track after the setback caused by the unrest.”

http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/bahrain-to-spend-more-than-16b-in-next-two-years-1.817884

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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