A TOTAL of QR87.5 billion ($24 billion) has been earmarked for large-scale projects in Qatar’s latest budget – its largest ever – which was endorsed at the end of March.
This marks a 16.8 per cent increase over the previous year, the Qatar News Agency reported. The new budget has proposed expenditure topping the $60-billion mark (QR218.4 billion) – up 3.7 per cent from last year – with projected revenues of up to QR225.7 billion ($62 billion).
Health services have been allocated QR15.7 billion ($4.3 billion) – an increase of 12.5 per cent over last year, while projected expenditures for education jumped to QR26.3 billion ($7.2 billion), up 7.3 per cent from last year. More than QR3.3 billion ($900 million), meanwhile, will go towards the construction of 6,000 new housing units.
The new budget makes way for large spending on infrastructure projects such as bridges, tunnels, public transport, the metro and roads as well as electricity, water and sanitation systems, commented Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, a businessman and former chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Other infrastructure projects, he said, include completion of the new Hamad International Airport and the 2022 World Cup projects, including eight new stadiums.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Trade Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said QR664 billion ($182 billion) has been earmarked for infrastructure expenditure for the next five years.
The expenditure, which excludes projects in oil and gas sector or private sector ventures, is aimed at strengthening the building materials manufacturing sector that will support the construction of mega infrastructure projects, he said.