Bahrain draft budget sees $12.26bn revenue in FY2021-22

Bahrain's Cabinet has approved a draft budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022 which envisages revenues totalling BD4.624 billion ($12.26 billion) for the two years. 


The cabinet meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, referred the draft law for its approval to the Council of Representatives, in accordance with legal and constitutional rules, said a Bahrain News Agency report. 


The draft budget prioritises social support for citizens in greatest need, while reducing expenditure to further improve resource management and allocation, as well as prioritising objectives under the Fiscal Balance Program, which include increasing non-oil revenues and reducing expenditure. 


Focusing on economic recovery and creating new economic opportunities are of top priority during the upcoming period, it said.


The draft budget estimates public revenues of BD2.285 billion for FY2021 and BD2.339 billion for FY2022, taking into consideration global oil price estimates of $45. Overall recurring expenditure will amount to BD3.296 billion for FY2021 and BD3.219 billion for FY2022. 


A total of BD656 million has been identified for development projects for each fiscal year, in part taken from the Gulf Development Program.


The draft budget aims to reduce the primary deficit to about BD568 million in FY2021 and BD388 million in FY2022. Overall deficit estimates stand at BD1.276 billion for FY2021 and BD1.145 billion for FY2022.


The draft budget law clearly states that the Fiscal Balance Program has achieved its 2019 objectives. However reduced oil revenues, driven by oil prices below estimates, and the unprecedented economic impact of Covid-19 on non-oil revenues, has increased the overall deficit. Yet the government has issued directives during 2020 to reduce administrative expenditures in line ministries by 30%.


Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said reducing government expenditures in the budget for the fiscal years 2021-2022 clearly shows that the government started with itself by reducing its expenditures while continuing to improve the quality and efficiency of public services, to enhance its working mechanisms and to develop its performance.


The government, while working on the budget, prioritised the interests of the citizens and the higher interest of the nation above all else, Shaikh Salman said.


The minister stressed that when preparing the state’s budget for the next two fiscal years, consideration was accorded to maintaining social support for the citizens in greatest need and to the commitment to achieving the objectives of the fiscal balance program, mainly increasing non-oil revenues according to the plans set for the benefit of the country and citizens.


Shaikh Salman pointed out that the drop in global oil prices and the slowdown in economic activities due to the coronavirus pandemic required adaptation to the new facts.


This was reflected in the state budget for the next two fiscal years by adopting stimulating and supporting economic recovery and continuing to create promising opportunities for citizens in a way that contributes to achieving the goals of the Government Action Plan and to building on previous achievements, he added.


The minister said he was looking forward to enhancing positive cooperation and joint work under the one-team spirit between the executive and legislative branches to approve the state's general budget for the fiscal years 2021-2022 in order to achieve the set goals and preserve the rights of citizens.




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