Qatar is expecting to reap a windfall of profit by expanding its gas output this fiscal year, raising its budget surplus to a whopping $6.2 billion, QNA reported Thursday night.
The OPEC member is calling this year’s plan, which accounts for government spending from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, the biggest budget in its history.
The country is forecasting a record $44 billion in revenue, a 27% increase over the previous fiscal year.
Qatar is also boosting spending by 19 percent for the new fiscal year, focusing mainly on health, education and infrastructure, the Peninsula reported.
The country also plans to raise employee salaries and wages, earmarking a 10 percent increase to $6.9 billion for the purpose, the Peninsula said. Other Gulf states have also pledged to spend billions of dollars on handouts, pensions and housing upgrades.
According to AFP:
As in the previous fiscal year, revenues were calculated based on a crude oil price of $55 per barrel, although oil has been trading above $100 a barrel because of the conflict in Libya.
Qatar expects 20 percent economic growth in 2011, compared with 16.3 percent in 2010, thanks largely to the expansion of its capacity to produce gas and public sector spending, the ministry said in a statement.
Around 41 percent of expenditure was allocated to infrastructure projects, including the ongoing construction of Doha airport, the building of a new port and a study to build a railway.
It’s hard to put billions of dollars in perspective.
But is it important to note that Qatar calculated it budget on last year’s crude oil prices, which have nearly doubled since then. Analysts say that could mean Qatar is going to make even more money than it has estimated.
Anyone have any thoughts on this year’s budget?
Credit: Budget graphic by The Peninsula