Sharjah announces $9.14bn 2021 budget; largest in the emirate’s history

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Sharjah’s ruler and Supreme Council Member H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi have approved the general budget of $9.14 billion for the fiscal year of 2021.

As per the statement issued by the Sharjah Finance Department (SFD), the approved amount is 12 percent higher than Sharjah’s final budget for 2020 as the emirate is aiming to support economic and social development by boosting the financial stability and macroeconomic environment.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi
Chairman – SFD

 “The general budget for this year is the largest in the history of the emirate. The budget of the Emirate has adopted many strategic and financial objectives and priorities, which reflected the high directives of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and his comprehensive and renewed vision, as well as the directions of the Executive Council and the strategic vision of the Central Finance Department, which works to achieve the highest levels of financial sustainability and efficiency in managing government financial resources and supporting the capabilities of government agencies.”

Earlier this year, Sharjah had approved a $272.2 million economic stimulus package to address the challenges that occurred due to the COVID-19, which also included waiving, reduction or cancellation of certain government fees in an aim to support businesses.

For 2021, salaries and wages account for about 47 percent of the total operating budget, while 43 percent of the general budget has been allocated for improving infrastructure in the emirate with a 40 percent increase than the 2020 budget, Waleed Al Sayegh, director-general of the finance department, said.

“The budget reflected the interest of Sharjah’s ruler to provide social support and assistance to those who deserve it, in pursuit of welfare and social justice, which would constitute 11 percent of the total general budget for 2021,” Al Sayegh added.

The government has allocated nearly 29 percent of the general budget for improving the emirate’s economy and 21 percent for social development to support scientific, cultural and heritage services, as well as stimulating creativity, innovation and scientific research and ensuring a healthy environment.

The capital projects fund accounts for a total of 32 percent with a 46 percent increment from the 2020 budget for the development of infrastructure, transport network, tunnels, tourism facilities and various other service facilities.