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Oman’s Budget Deficit Heading Down


Darwish al-Balushi. Photo courtesy Times of Oman

Darwish al-Balushi, Financial affairs Ministrer of Oman, announced yesterday the government’s intention of cutting the 4.5 billion-rial deficit by 27 percent this year, down to 3.3 billion rials ($8.6 billion.) Al-Balushi said that the deficit will be reduced mainly by the reduction of spending.

The recent low oil prices have hit Oman hard. The original deficit projection was placed at 2.5 billion rials last year. But that calculation was based on the price of oil hovering at about $75 per barrel. Today’s price for Brent crude oil is closer to $40 per barrel.

Al-Balushi predicted that state spending for this year should reach about 11.9 billion rials, a much lower figure than last years’ 14.1 billion rials. Revenues are expected to reach about 8.6 billion rials.

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