Cabinet approves 2013 budget
The United Arab Emirates Cabinet has approved the 2013 Budget. The official press release as published in the Emirates News Agency (WAM) is as follows:
“The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said today that health, education, social welfare of UAE citizens and the development of government services will be the top priorities of the UAE budget for 2013. This is in accordance with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide prosperity, security and decent life for citizens wherever they are, he added.
Sheikh Mohammed was speaking while chairing on Tuesday a meeting of the Cabinet, during which the Union Budget for fiscal year 2013 was approved. Total revenues are estimated at AED 44.6 billion and expenditures at an equal amount, with no budgeted deficit The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were present at the meeting.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that the budget is part of the three-year budget plan for 2011-2013 with a total expenditure of AED 133 billion. This seeks to meet the requirements of the Federal government’s strategic plan for all sectors and at enhancing various services and social care provided to the citizens within an integrated vision that extends to the year 2021.
The Cabinet also approved the composite union budget for 2013, which includes the draft general budget as well as the budgets of independent federal authorities with total revenues estimated at AED 55 billion and a surplus of AED 5 million.
The union budget for 2013 is focussed on the social development sector and on social benefits with total allocations for them standing at AED 22.7billion. Education took the largest single share of the budget, at AED 9.9 billion, representing 22 per cent of the total allocations. In the effort to complete the implementation of the country’s Education Development Strategy, the education budget has been increased to AED 6 billion to support development initiatives in government schools and to provide the required financial support for promotion of the teaching staff.
The amount earmarked for the social development sector and social welfare represented 51 per cent of the union budget for 2013, with a total allocation of AED 22.7 billion.
Public education, Higher Education, Health, Labour, Social affairs, Islamic Affairs, Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme and other social welfare programmes fall under this category.
The Governmental Affairs category, including defence, interior, justice, foreign affairs and other federal departments, accounted for 41pc of the federal budget with total allocations standing at AED 18.3 billion.”