Oman government orders more budget cuts

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Muscat: The Ministry of Finance has issued a Financial Circular No. 16/2020 which relates to the reduction of budgets of ministries and government units.

A statement issued by the Ministry explained that the circular comes in implementation of the Royal directives stipulating necessary financial measures to address the adverse impacts of oil price slump in a manner that achieves financial abundance by shrinking spending to diminish budget deficit and, eventually, shore up the economy.

The statement pointed out that the directives come within the context of follow-up of the dual effect of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis and international oil price collapse and their negative impacts on public finance and overall economy.

In pursuance of previous financial procedures, directives were issued as follows:

1. To carry out an additional 5 per cent cut on budgets allocated for all civil, military and security government units through fiscal year 2020 so that the total percentage of reduction becomes 10 per cent of budgets earmarked for these units.

2. To negotiate with owners of real estate properties leased by the government for a discount of at least 10 per cent of the existing rent of each leased property.

3. To suspend all unnecessary ceremonies and activities, like annual celebrations and inaugural ceremonies.

The Ministry of Finance underscored the need to fully comply with the financial measures undertaken. The Ministry called upon all the departments concerned to cooperate and adapt their conditions accordingly—to realise the overall public interest of securing financial and economic stability.

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