DOHA: Qatar might extend the current budget year (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) by nine months so it ends on December 31, 2015 — after which a new financial year (January to December) can be adopted.
There is a possibility the present budget year could be extended until 2015-end, Al Sharq reported yesterday, quoting sources.
The new fiscal year could then begin for the state from January 1, 2016, ending on December 31, and this pattern could follow after that.
To recall, the Cabinet, at its weekly meeting last Wednesday, approved a draft law that, among others, seeks to change the financial year from April-March to January-December.
The aim is to ensure compatibility with local and foreign businesses, especially global financial entities like International Monetary Fund and credit agencies.
The draft law that is to be referred to the Advisory Council for review and recommendations has 60 articles.
Once the draft is converted into law, executive regulations are to be passed to help implement the legislation.
Executive regulations are to be framed and enforced in coordination between the Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance.
The current budget (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) will not be affected if the fiscal year is extended until December 31, 2015 to have the new financial year in place.
According to Al Sharq, allocations made in the present budget for public spending and other heads would remain unaffected if the new law is enforced. Interim arrangements would be made to have allocations for public spending for the extended nine-month period (April 1 to December 31, 2015) and they would be based on projects and programmes.
The heads will not simply say allocations for development spending, for instance. Rather, specific development projects for which allocations are made will be identified.
The nine-month interim budget period will give ministries and state agencies the opportunity to know how future budgets would work.