109 MPs are absent from vote2005 budget approved [Archives:2005/806/Local News]

January 10 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
The Parliament approved the 2005 general budgets of state on Jan. 5.

That included the central authority, the local authority and projects of independent and additional budgets as well as special funds and the budgets of the economic units for the financial year 2005.

The majority of votes, that is 161 members, approved the budget, including 25 members from the opposition, but six from a total number of 192 attending members boycotted, while 109 were absent from the session.

The overall amount of the general budget revenues for the financial year 2005 were estimated at $ 4.1 billion, but that's short of expenses, so the budget deficit was estimated at $ 400,6 million.

The Parliament also issued a number of recommendations to be fulfilled by the government along with the 2005 budget approval.

They include:

– Establishing economic policies to concentrate on growing the alternatives of exhausted oil resources in the promising and renewed economic sectors, including fisheries, tourism, and exploitation of natural gas in the local consumption as well seeking external markets for exporting them.

– Reconsidering the financial, render and purchase laws and the uniformed accounting system so as to overcome the current shortcomings.

– Reconsidering the law of the Central Organization for Control and Auditing to ensure its effectiveness and monitoring role according to the international, transparency and interrogating criteria.

– Establishing a stock market as an alternative for the policy of treasury ponds.

– Completing the establishment of the medical centers related to the treatment of heart diseases, cancer and kidney failure, equipping civic and military hospitals with modern facilities, and training their staff with the aim to limit the rate of traveling abroad for treatment.

– Reducing the rate of external loans.

– Taking strict procedures to prevent the phenomenon of customs and tax smuggling and to control the land and sea outlets.

– Reducing the rate of current expenditures and increasing the rate of investment-related expenditures.

– Working hard for the purpose of upgrading education standards and scientific acquisition through developing the educational aids.

– Lessening the customs' fees in all the imported goods and providing additional resources for the social insurance network.

– Exercising the principle of reward and punishment as well as interrogating corrupts and violators.