Sharjah's Ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi approved the emirate's Dh34.42 billion ($9.37bn) budget for 2022, prioritising spending on infrastructure and social and economic development, according to a tweet by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau.
The 2022 budget, 2 per cent bigger than the last year, is expected to provide about 1,000 jobs for newly graduated UAE citizens, according to a government statement on Tuesday.
About 44 per cent of the budget expenditure will be allocated to the development and improvement of the emirate's infrastructure, 27 per cent to economic development with a focus on stimulus processes and 21 per cent for social development. About 8 per cent will be allotted to government administration.
The Sharjah government budget will "complete the emirate's march towards achieving the highest levels of excellence, success and sustainable development in all sectors and fields", said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
The government of Sharjah has taken measures to support businesses and people to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sharjah introduced Dh1bn of economic stimulus measures in 2020 in response to the economic challenges caused by the global crisis, which included the waiving, reduction or cancellation of certain government fees and charges.
While the world is experiencing instability because of the negative effects of the pandemic, Sharjah has created an "ideal balance" between development and services, resulting in the continued implementation of capital projects and initiatives, said Waleed Al Sayegh, director general of the Central Finance Department.
The Sharjah government pledged to continue supporting capital projects to ensure that spending on these projects continues in 2022. The budget for capital projects account for 30 per cent of the overall budget of the emirate.
Salaries and wages constitute 25 per cent of the 2022 budget, an increase of 4 per cent year-on-year. Operating expenses make up 25 per cent of the emirate's budget, up 3 per cent from 2021 level, according to the government statement.
While the balance of loan repayments and interest account for 7 per cent of the total, which is an increase of 18 per cent, this will improve the "government’s solvency and ability to meet all its obligations".
Eleven per cent will be allocated towards welfare and social justice, an increase of 3 per cent compared with 2021 and reflecting the emirate's focus on social support. Capital expenditure will make up 2 per cent of the budget.
Government revenue is expected to increase 49 per cent for 2022, compared with 2021, according to the government statement.
Operating revenue is estimated to constitute 53 per cent of the total revenue for 2022, an increase of 8 per cent year-on-year. Tax revenues will account for about 6 per cent, an increase of roughly 20 per cent compared with last year. Capital revenues is expected to represent 35 per cent.
Revenue from oil and gas is expected to be around 3 per cent higher from 2021 levels, it said without providing a comparative figure. Customs revenue will be 3 per cent.
"With government revenue being the main source of financing for the general budget, the government has paid special attention to the development of these revenues, particularly in terms of improving collection efficiency and developing smart tools and methods to assist in this regard," according to the statement.