The 8th meeting of the UAE’s Federal General Budget Committee was held on Tuesday and chaired by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
The meeting was also presided over by other main members of the committee like His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and other members from the Ministry of Finance.
The committee discussed topics including federal cash flow for financial years 2022 and 2023
The committee discussed various matters including the federal cash flow for the financial years 2022 and 2023. This would be decided according to the revenue generated in 2022 and the income that is to be expected through 2023.
The financial position of the federal government was also reviewed by the committee in the context of the actual income and expenditures. The committee also looked into the requests of the federal institutions regarding additional funding for the new year.
The respective administrative bodies also briefed the committee about the completion of the projects that were taken up during the financial year of 2022 and also informed them about the upcoming developmental projects for the year 2023 which were designed according to the existing regulations and financial plans.
The revenues that were collected during the 2022 financial year reflected the economic growth of the UAE during the post-pandemic phase and this was a matter of inspiration as the UAE economy made headway into different aspects of development even when the global financial conditions were hostile.
Last year in October, the UAE Cabinet approved the federal budget for 2023 to 2026 estimating a total expenditure of Dh 252.3 billion and the cabinet meeting was chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai at the Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Mohammed said that the federal budget is an important marker in the government’s development plans and goals.
It was also decided that the budget for the fiscal year of 2023 was Dh 63.06 billion with an estimated revenue of Dh 63.61 billion. The government revenue was estimated at a growth of eleven percent this year and the expenditure growth was put at 3.9 percent.
The majority of the 2023 fiscal budget was allocated towards social development and benefits which was calculated at Dh 24.8 billion which comes up to 39.3 percent of the total budget amount. There were different areas inside this social development and benefit allocations like Dh 9.8 for public and university education programmes, Dh 3.5 billion for social affairs, Dh 5 billion for pension services, Dh 4.8 billion for healthcare and community protection sector etc.
A total amount of Dh 23.9 billion was allocated for government affairs, which was the second largest allocation following budget allocations to other sectors like infrastructure and economic resources (Dh 2.4 billion), financial investment sector (Dh 2.1 billion) and Dh 753 million for federal investment projects.
His Excellency Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, stated that the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023 has been designed according to the regulations of the Federal Decree Law No (26) of 2019 on Public Finance and it complies with best international standards and practices.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance observed that the federal budget is an “essential pillar in the UAE’s development process” and it aims to fortify the overall developmental scale of the UAE economy in terms of its social and financial goals.
He also said that the UAE government puts the happiness and prosperity of its residents as its top priority and under the efficient leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the government has laid down sustainable development plans for advancing the position of UAE among world nations.
The federal budget of the UAE is also a dynamic budget as it is subjected to regular reviews to update the budget with new objectives and changes. This may result in an overall increase in budget expenditure. The latest federal budget expenditure is valued at Dh 313 billion until 2026 which is a sizable increase from the 2022 figure of Dh 252.3 billion.
The committee meeting also discussed the relevant areas where the federal budget had to be increased and the rationale of this has been directed at the larger vision of taking the UAE into the top global position in the next ten years.