A four-year general federal budget of Dh201 billion was approved on Tuesday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The budget, which covers from 2018 until 2021, was approved at the extraordinary Cabinet meeting held at the Sharjah International Book Fair. A Dh51 billion budget for 2018 was also approved.
Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, were present.
“We give top priority to the happiness and welfare of our people, and we will work on the budgets and plans for the best interests of the country, its future and human capital,” said Shaikh Mohammad, speaking during the meeting.
The Cabinet approved the restructuring of the Ministerial Development Council under the chairmanship of Shaikh Mansour, while the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future will serve as Vice Chairman.
“We have restructured the ministerial development council today—the members have new assignments… We have an ever-changing vision, and our people have high aspirations,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
The 2018 budget allocates 43 per cent to health care, education and society development sectors. It also allocates Dh26.3 billion for social development and welfare programmes, accounting for 43.5 per cent of the total budget.
Public and higher education programmes have been allocated Dh10.4 billion, constituting 17.1 per cent of the budget.
Healthcare and community prevention sector received an allocation of Dh4.5 billion, 7.4 per cent of the budget. The government affairs sector was allocated Dh22.1 billion (36.5 per cent of the budget), out of which Dh3.5 billion will be used for federal projects.
Council’s members include the Ministers of Economy, Health and Prevention, and the Ministers of State for Federal National Council Affairs, for Foreign Affairs, and for Financial Affairs.
The members also include Ministers of Energy and Industry, Education, Infrastructure Development, Justice, Culture and Knowledge Development, Environment and Climate Change, Human Resources and Emiratisation, Community Development, as well as Ministers of State for Public Education, Higher Education and Advanced Skills.
It also approved the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax, which will come into force from January 1, 2018.
Source: Gulf News