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Bahrain’s 2001-2002 Budget Plan Projects Lower Deficit
MEES
13 November 2000 Volume 43, Issue 46 - FINANCE
 

Bahrain’s two-year budget plan for 2001 and 2002 projects a deficit of BD314mn ($833mn) – a 1.9% drop from the figure for the preceding two-year plan. The new budget, ratified by the Bahraini cabinet at an ordinary meeting on 5 November, contains an 18.1% rise in revenues to BD1,344mn ($3,565mn) for the period. Higher revenues, however, are offset to some extent by a forecast rise in spending to BD1,658mn ($4,398mn), or 13.7% more than the preceding two-year period.

Within this total, the percentage breakdown of current (ordinary) versus capital (projects) spending remains similar to the preceding budget – 81% of the total is allocated to ordinary expenditures in the 2001 and 2002 budget, compared with 82% in the preceding two-year budget. At the 5 November meeting, Bahrain’s Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifah bin Salman Al Khalifah, told the cabinet of strategic investment plans for the period 2001-04 which are expected to cost up to $1.18bn and will include the construction of a new port.

Bahrain Budgets: 1997-2001

(BDMn)

2001 & 2002

1999 & 2000

% Change

1998 & 1997

Revenue

1,344

1,138

18.1

1,245

Oil

-

516

-

-

Non-Oil and Aid

-

622

-

-

Expenditure

1,658

1,458

13.7

1,395

Ordinary

1,338

1,198

11.7

-

Projects

320

260

23.1

-

Deficit

314

320

(1.9)

150

While Bahrain is less oil-rich than all of its other GCC neighbors, it is generally seen as benefiting from its efforts to diversify away from energy resources and generally encourage a more liberalized economy. Speaking on 6 November to Reuters , the country’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, 'Abd al-Nabi al-Shula, said that all Gulf countries could “stop the drainage in their economy by depending on the local workforce.” He also said GCC nations could allow “foreigners to invest in the region in various fields, including setting up projects and trading in local shares.” Mr Shula noted that foreign workers in the GCC sent home $26bn each year, including $5bn to India. Foreign workers make up one third of Bahrain’s workforce – much less than regional Gulf neighbors where the figure is closer to two thirds.

Bahrain generates its oil revenues from 40,000 b/d produced from its own fields and from the entire output of some 140,000 b/d from the offshore Abu Safah oilfield, which is shared with Saudi Arabia (MEES, 11 January 1999). Beginning in 1996, the latter agreed to allocate all the revenue from Abu Safah’s output to Bahrain.


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© Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) 2014.
 
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