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Oman approves 2023 budget with $3.4bn expenditure

REUTERS/Sultan Al Hasani
Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq

Oman’s Sultan ratified a 2023 budget with a deficit of OMR1.3 billion ($3.38 billion) or three percent of GDP, the finance ministry said on Sunday, adding that the 2022 budget achieved a surplus of OMR1.146 billion.

The 2023 budget sees revenues of OMR10.05 billion, five percent lower than 2022, and expenditures of OMR11.35 billion, 6.4 percent lower than the previous year.

Higher oil prices boosted 2022 revenues to OMR14.234 billion, the finance ministry said. Last year’s budget had been based on a forecast price of $50 per barrel but the government now estimates the average price in 2022 to be $94.

The 2023 budget is based on a price of $55 per barrel.

Public spending in 2022 was OMR13.088 billion, the ministry said. The surplus allowed the government to reduce public debt from OMR20.8 billion in 2021 to OMR17.7 billion in 2022.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Oman, one of the Gulf’s weaker economies, to post fiscal and external surpluses over the medium term, due mainly to higher oil revenue, fiscal discipline and the introduction of value added tax.

Last month, S&P Global upgraded Oman’s credit rating to BB, from BB-, on improved fiscal performance and lower public debt.