H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has approved AED34.4 billion for the 2022 general budget for the Emirate of Sharjah. This is in line with the emirate’s strategic vision regarding promoting economic and social development, enhancing financial sustainability, and stimulating the overall economy.
The general budget contributes to both services and development and is based on the process of strengthening the emirate’s financial pillars to advance economic, cultural, scientific and tourism leadership and enhance capabilities to meet various economic challenges. The budget has adopted various strategic goals and indicators, including promoting investment in infrastructure and other economic activities to achieve a competitive advantage, and providing various forms of social support to address the needs of citizens.
The budget aims to use the best means to stimulate the economy, encourage development, and ensure financial sustainability, as well as to support the growing interest in human resources and to enhance the role of citizens.
H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, said, “The Sharjah government’s budget for the year 2022 follows the directives and comes with the blessing of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, to complete the emirate’s march in achieving the highest levels of excellence, success and sustainable development in all sectors and fields. It is set to help the emirate continue to build on what has already been achieved, according to His Highness’s insightful vision.”
He added, “The new year’s budget, which exceeds AED34 billion, and which has increased in quantity and quality over the previous year, calls on each of us to take responsibility and to contribute to the advancement of Sharjah in a fitting manner to ensure a better future for all. Under the wise leadership of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, who offers his limitless support and of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council, it is our duty to develop all areas and services and to implement projects according to the best standards to maintain social cohesion and achieve prosperity for all.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Central Finance Department in Sharjah, indicated that the emirate’s new general budget adopts many strategic and financial goals and priorities, which reflects the directives and vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, as well as that of the Executive Council. It also supports the strategic vision of the Central Finance Department, which works to achieve higher levels of financial sustainability, to efficiently manage government resources, to support government agencies in terms of service provision, to strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector, and to provide incentives that ensure the continued advancement, growth and development of the emirate.
His Excellency Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of the Central Finance Department, stressed that while the world is witnessing instability because of the negative effects of the pandemic, Sharjah has created an ideal balance between development and services, resulting in the continued implementation of capital projects and initiatives. Both Khorfakkan and Kalba, as well as the rest of the emirate’s regions, witnessed an urban renaissance with social, tourist and cultural dimensions.
The Director General indicated that the general budget has increased by (2%) compared to the 2021 budget, and that the government will continue to support capital projects to ensure continuity in meeting the spending needs on these projects in 2022. The capital projects budget constitutes (30%) of the general budget.
Salaries and wages constitute (25%) of the budget, an increase of (4%), while operating expenses make up (25%) for the year 2022, an increase of (3%) compared to the budget of 2021. The budget for support and aid accounts for approximately (11%) of the general budget, (3%) more than in 2021, while the balance of loan repayments and interest constitute (7%) of the total, which is an increase of (18%). This will enhance the government’s solvency and ability to meet all its obligations.
In addition, to enable the government to achieve its strategic and operational goals and initiatives, the Department of Finance wants to enhance the government’s financial stability and sustainability by increasing the level of spending by (2%), thus improving government agencies’ ability to meet development requirements.
The process of classifying the budget according to economic sector is one of the most important tools reflecting the government’s strategic direction. The infrastructure sector ranked first with (44%) of the total general budget for 2022, which is an increase of (4%). This reflects the government’s interest in developing the emirate’s infrastructure, which is the backbone of the development and sustainability process, and which attracts foreign and local investments across all vital sectors.
The economic development sector ranked second with an allocation of (27%) of the total general budget for 2022, followed by the social development sector, with (21%). The increase of (3%) will help provide the best services, support and assistance to citizens and residents in the emirate. The government administration, security and safety sector constitutes (8%) of the total general budget for 2022, an increase of (8%) compared to 2021.
With government revenues being the main source of financing for the general budget, the government has paid special attention to the development of these revenues, particularly in terms of improving collection efficiency and developing smart tools and methods to assist in this regard.
Government revenues is expected to see an increase of (49%) for the year 2022, compared to the general revenue budget for the year 2021, with operating revenues constituting (53%) of the total revenue budget for the year 2022, an increase of (8%) compared to the operating revenues for 2021. Capital revenues is expected to represent (35%) for the year 2022, showing a significant increase over 2021. Tax revenues will represent approximately (6%), an increase of roughly (20%) compared to last year, while customs revenues will constitute (3%). Oil and gas revenues are expected to be around (3%), a noticeable increase compared to oil and gas revenues for 2021.