Oman foresees $5.7 bn deficit in pared down 2021 budget

AFP , Friday 1 Jan 2021

The government plans to finance 73 percent of the deficit through borrowing on local and international markets, and the rest from state reserves

The Gulf sultanate of Oman unveiled a 2021 budget on Friday that foresees a deficit of 2.24 billion riyals ($5.7 billion), despite a 14 percent cut in spending.

The government expects revenues of 8.64 billion riyals based on an oil price of $45 dollars a barrel, 19 percent less than in 2020, the official Oman News Agency reported.

Spending is set at 10.88 billion riyals, 14 percent less than in 2020.

The government plans to finance 73 percent of the deficit through borrowing on local and international markets, and the rest from state reserves.

With output of a little under one million barrels per day, Oman is a medium-sized oil producer outside the OPEC cartel.

But like other Gulf producers, it has been hit hard by the persistent low international demand for oil that has been aggravated by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In its population of some five million, Oman has confirmed nearly 130,000 Covid-19 cases, almost 1,500 of them fatal.

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