Sharjah's ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi approved a record budget of Dh33.6 billion for 2021 on Sunday.
The amount set is a 12 per cent increase on Sharjah's final budget for 2020 as it looks to fund measures to support economic and social development, a statement issued by the government's finance department said.
“The general budget for this year is the largest in the history of the emirate," Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah's finance department, said.
Sharjah introduced Dh1 billion of economic stimulus measures this year in response to the economic challenges caused by Covid-19, which included the waiving, reduction or cancellation of certain government fees and charges.
For 2021, salaries and wages account for about 47 per cent of the total operating budget, while 43 per cent of the general budget has been allocated to improving infrastructure in the emirate – a 40 per cent increase on this year, 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 per cent of the total general budget for 2021,” he added.
About 29 per cent of the general budget has been allocated to developing the emirate's economy and 21 per cent has been earmarked for social development projects, the department said.
Capital projects make up a total of 32 per cent – a 46 per cent year-on-year increase – with funds allocated to schemes to improve the transport network, tourism sites, tunnels and other facilities.