DOHA: Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance to ministries and state agencies on their budget estimates for the fiscal year (2014-15) stress that the private sector’s greater involvement in the national economy should be encouraged.
The directives also emphasise that state entities should not compete with private businesses in bidding for projects, including the key ones.
In contrast to previous years, the Ministry of Finance is expecting comprehensive and detailed budget proposals this time. The guidelines insist that concerned entities give a comprehensive proposal for the next fiscal year and ask them to detail their expectations for the next three budgets (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 ).
The guidelines make it mandatory for the ministries and state entities to compare their performance with regard to the budget estimates they provided for the current financial year (2012-13) while detailing their expectations for the 2014-15 budget, according to a copy of the ministry’s circular available with Al Sharq.
The ministries and government agencies should submit their budget proposals on or before November 17, 2013. Discussions on the proposals will start in January and continue through March. Qatar’s budget announcement normally comes in April as the fiscal year is from April to March.
Similar to the current budget, the new budget is also expected to lay emphasis on the country’s ambitious expansion plans envisaged in Qatar National Vision 2030. The new budget is expected to earmark a substantial amount for infrastructure development, education and health.
The 2014-15 budget is expected to be pro-private sector. The circular suggests that the government agencies keep away from bidding for key projects, paving the way for the private sector to prosper. The ministries and government agencies are also expected to outsource a large number of their projects and works to the private sector.
The new budget will be prepared in such a way that it would not only ensure the country’s current credit rating is maintained, but also help enhance it. It will also be planned in a way to curb the inflation rate. The circular stressed that budget proposals must adhere to the guidelines. It also emphasised that the proposals must be transparent and no attempt should be made to conceal concerned entities’ sources of revenue.
The proposals must be submitted under different heads or chapters. While preparing them for budget estimates and expected revenue sources, the ministries and government agencies must compare their previous year’s data. A highlight of the new budget will be that allocations will be based on performance. Judicious and result-oriented spending will be key in the next budget. The Peninsula