In its 2021 Budget Statement, Qatar’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has forecasted a COVID-19 recovery by the country in 2021 with a GDP growth of 2.2 percent.
Placing its inferences on the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) estimates, the Ministry expects the 2020 real GDP to decrease by 2.6 percent due to the spread of COVID-19 and low energy prices.
The ministry has placed its focus on economic recovery with investments on prominent regional projects in the infrastructure and road sectors while supporting other initiatives like financing housing projects for nationals, and projects for developing public services such as healthcare and education.
MoF has identified projects worth $14.80 billion to be awarded from 2021 to 2023. These projects also include the implementation and completion of infrastructure for the development of housing areas for nationals.
Other projects include beautification projects of roads and beaches, development of drainage stations, water treatment plants, pumping and rainwater drainage networks.
The 2021 Budget has allocated $11.59 billion (21.7 percent of the total expenditure) for the Defense and Security Sector.
The second-largest allocation in the budget, representing 20.5 percent of the total expenditure ($10.96 billion) has been made towards the Public Finance sector which includes interest on loans, expenditure for government support programs, foodstuff programs and strategic foodstuff reserves, in addition to pension funds for civilians and military personnel and social security allocations.
The Budget has also allocated 8.9 percent and 8.5 percent of total expenditures towards education and healthcare sectors respectively.
The Budget expects the total public debt (both internal and external public debt) to touch $104.81 billion by the end of 2020, a 4.3 percent reduction compared with the numbers at the end of 2019.
Total internal public debt which consists of local bonds and loans is expected to reach $41.96 billion, 40 percent of the total public debt.
External Debt which covers government bonds and external loans along with the loans of export guarantee agencies is expected to be at $62.85 billion, contributing to 60 percent of the total public debt.