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Financial affairs council reviews impact of coronavirus on economy

22 Mar 2020

The Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council last week held its second meeting of the year at the Ministry of Finance under the chairmanship of H E Darwish bin Ismail al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the council. 

The meeting reviewed the economic developments resulting from impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, notably the sharp decline of international oil prices and its setbacks on the state’s financial position. 

As part of its keenness to undertake precautionary measures to alleviate the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, the council approved a number of procedures.  

The procedures are as follows: 
Stressing the necessity of adherence of ministries and government, civil, military and security units to the prescribed budget cuts of 5 per cent in the budgets of the respective ministries and units 

Conducting full revision of general spending articles (allocations) with a view to achieving further cutting down of expenditure budgets 

Revising subsidy and expenditure provisions (allocations) of the government’s capital, operational and administrative companies, including financial regulations and human resources 

Emphasis on the importance of commitment of government companies to Financial Decision No 2/2020 on terms for the foundation of new government companies 

Approving financial allocations on enhancing food reserves and financial requirements for preventive measures to address the spread of coronavirus 

Boosting the lending portfolio of Al Raffd Fund to help increase the number of loans offered to Small and Medium Enterprises 

Studying and drafting a law on general debt 

The Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council will continue to monitor and assess the impact of international economic developments on the sultanate and it will undertake further precautionary measures to limit those impacts and to control fiscal deficit. 

The council urged government units to comply with the approved procedures and evaluate the real performance of the state’s general budget every three months.  
During the meeting, the council also reviewed other topics and took appropriate decisions in their regard.  

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