ABU DHABI // Improved health, education, social service benefits and development of government services for citizens will be the focus of the 2015 federal budget.
The Cabinet has approved the draft 2015 union budget at an estimated Dh49.1 billion, an increase of Dh2.9bn from the previous financial year, according to Wam, the state news agency.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said on Sunday that the directives of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, to provide prosperity, security and a decent life for citizens remain a priority.
Meeting and investing in citizens are the cornerstones of government policies and represent a top priority in the national agenda for achieving Vision 2021, Sheikh Mohammed said.
The announcement was made during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed at the Presidential Palace in the presence of Sheikh Mansour, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Sheikh Mohammed said that 49 per cent of the total 2015 federal budget – or an estimated Dh24bn – was allocated for service projects, social development and social benefits.
The Cabinet also approved the protocol for amending the agreement for avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion with Poland and a treaty on mutual administrative cooperation on customs with the Maldives.
Air transport agreements with Myanmar, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Slovenia were also cleared.
A breakdown of government expenditure showed that Dh20bn of the budget was allocated to government sector affairs. Infrastructure was assigned Dh1.8bn and in the economic sector Dh1.6bn to financial assets and Dh1bn to federal spending.
The Cabinet also gave its approval to issuing executive regulations of the UAE competition law that regulates economic activities and exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights. The law supports national efforts to deliver the UAE Vision 2021 seeking to build a knowledge-based economy.
Approval was also given to a resolution aimed to regulate the Emirates Green Card for rationalisation of water consumption.
The system recognises water consuming devices in buildings and facilities with a green card as a reward for complying with environment protection guidelines. The green card will serve as a guide for rational water consumption of water and is part of the nation’s green development strategy.
The Cabinet also gave its consent for state subscription in the fifth capital increase of the Islamic Development Bank.
This reflects the Government’s resolve to cooperate with regional and international organisations on development projects and help the private sector access financing services. The UAE is one of the founders of the Jeddah-based bank.