14:38 | 26/10/2015 Cooperation
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) approved a deficit-free federal budget for 2016 of 48.557 billion dirham (13.23 billion U. S. dollars) that sees a 1.11 percent drop compared to that of 2015, state news agency WAM reported.
The slight decrease in planned federal spending follows a sharp fall of oil price from around 110 dollars per barrel in July 2014 to around 48 dollars lately.
The budget of the Gulf Arab state, a major oil supplier, gives priority to promote public services that touch on the lives of all of its people, including education, social development, and health, said the report.
Earlier last week, Masood Ahmed, director Middle East and Central Asia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the UAE would record a fiscal deficit of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product which could increase further in the coming years in case oil prices would not pick up significantly.
The IMF's Ahmed said the UAE like all Gulf Arab states might have to take hard political decisions in order to keep spending and the fiscal deficit at bay. The UAE does neither raise taxes no income nor does it raise a value-added tax until today./.