Oman cuts 2016 spending in light of lower oil prices
Omani Leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said addresses the opening session of the Council of Oman in the capital Muscat on November 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED MAHJOUBOman will cut spending this year by 15.6 percent in the face of lower oil prices but still face a huge deficit after posting one in 2015, Finance Minister Darweesh al-Bloushi said.
Spending is projected at 11.9 billion riyals ($30.9 billion/28.3 billion euros) in 2016 compared with $36.6 billion, a statement from Bloushi said.
Revenues are projected at 8.6 billion riyals ($22.3 billion), down a massive 26 percent from 2015, resulting in a deficit of $8.6 billion, said the statement cited by the official ONA news agency.
Oman’s deficit last year was $11.7 billion.
Gulf states have been hit hard by a cash crunch due to a 65-percent drop in oil prices since June 2014. Saudi Arabia announced a record-high $98-billion budget deficit over this year.
Most of them have introduced austerity measures, and Oman said on Dec. 30 it has decided a series of measures to boost non-oil revenues.