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Omani defence budget flattens

The Omani government released its 2022 budget on 1 January, with defence and security spending remaining flat at OMR2.96 billion (USD7.68 billion).

The budget is the same as that of 2021, despite government expenditure increasing from OMR10.88 billion to OMR12.13 billion – a return to pre-pandemic levels of government expenditure. The Omani defence and security budget line covers the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, as well as the firqat tribal militias, Royal Oman Police, and Internal Security Services, among others.

The 2022 budget is based on an assumed oil price of USD50 a barrel, with production of just over 1 million barrels per day. Oil is anticipated to comprise 42% of revenues, with natural gas a further 25%, while non-hydrocarbon revenue will account for 32%. The overall budget comprises OMR10.16 billion in expenditure, OMR900 million in investments, and OMR1.07 billion in subsidies, with an anticipated deficit of OMR1.55 billion. The government has allocated 40% of its expenditure towards social services, with defence and security receiving 29%.

The country's deficit will be predominantly financed by borrowing OMR1.15 billion from foreign and domestic sources, with a further OMR400 million coming from government reserves.

The country's offset programme was briefly mentioned in the Ministry of Finance's budget statement, noting that nine projects had been implemented through the Partnership for Development programme. These included a ship and boat maintenance project, a multisensor direct satellite reception station, and a fisheries research vessel. Oman's offset programme was previously administered by a standalone entity, the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership, before it was moved into the Ministry of Finance in August 2020.

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