The budget is based on a conservative estimate of changing oil prices.
Total revenue estimates of QAR 160.1bn for Qatar’s fiscal budget for 2021 was approved by Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday.
The budget was based on an average $40 a barrel oil price, a conservative estimate due to COVID-19 and the volatility of oil prices in the market.
The total expenditure amounted to QAR 194.7bn, resulting in a QAR 34.6bn projected deficit.
The Ministry of Finance will look to cover the deficit using the available cash reserves, or by relying on local and foreign debt instruments.
Qatar’s minister of finance, Ali Shareef Al Emadi, said QR72.1 billion were allocated for spending on major projects, including those linked to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The country will also spend a projected QAR 17.4 billion on education to expand and develop schools and other educational institutions.
There was also QAR 16.5 billion allocated to the health sector, which will guarantee the completion of important projects in the field of developing healthcare and expanding medical facilities.
Qatar’s GDP may scale up to $208bn in 2024 from $162bn this year, an increase of almost 30% over four years, according to FocusEconomics, a leading provider of economic analysis and forecasts.
Next year, Qatar’s GDP shows a 7.2% projected increase to reach $174bn, followed by a further 6.4% to reach $185bn in 2022 and another 1.9% increase to hit $196bn in 2023.
Two other economic indicators, the rate of inflation and that of unemployment, also point to a healthy and growing economy over the next few years.
According to the report, the country’s inflation will be -1.8% this year, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1.2% in 2021, 1.7% in 2022, 1.8% in 2023 and 1.9% in 2024.