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Omani sultan approves 2020 budget with deficit of $6.5bn

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat [Allan Grey/Flickr]
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman [Allan Grey/Flickr]

Omani Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has approved the 2020 budget with an expected deficit of 2.5 billion Omani rials ($6.5 billion), the official news agency of Oman reported on Wednesday.

According to the news agency, the government of the Sultanate is to borrow two billion Omani rials ($5.2 billion) from foreign and domestic sources, while it is to fund the remainder, estimated to be 500 million Omani rials ($1.3 billion), from the cash reserves.

The country's estimated revenues for the 2020 budget were based on the average oil prices of $58 per barrel this year. This makes 10.7 billion Omani rials – a six per cent increase compared to 2019.

According to the news agency, the expenses of the government are expected to increase this year by two per cent or 13.2 billion Omani rials ($34.38 billion).

Oman is considered to be the poorest country among the Gulf States regarding oil resources. It has launched a four-year-plan, covering 2016-2020.

The plan, which includes investments of $106 billion in five years, aims to decrease dependence on oil revenues from 44 per cent to 22 per cent in 2020.

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