The Council of Ministers has adopted the draft union budget for 2015, at an estimated amount of Dh 49.1 billion, an increase of Dh2.9 billion (6.3 percent) from the financial year 2014.
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday confirmed that the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide prosperity, security and a decent life for citizens at all levels remain a clear priority.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said that investing in and meeting the needs of its citizens are the cornerstones of the U.A.E. government policies, and represent a top priority in the national agenda for achieving the U.A.E. Vision 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed also said that the federal budget for 2015 will go towards health, education, and social services, as well as developing government services for U.A.E. citizens, in accordance with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide prosperity, security and a decent life for all citizens.
The announcement was made during a Council of Ministers meeting, Chaired by Sheikh Mohammed, at the Presidential Palace, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
His Highness the Vice President said that 49 percent of the total federal budget for 2015, an estimated Dh24 billion, has been allocated for service projects, social development and social benefits.
The draft union budget for 2015 will focus on harnessing financial resources in a sustainable way to serve citizens and provide them with better health, education, and social services.
A breakdown of government expenditures showed that social development and social benefits sector received Dh 24 billion, or 49% of the total Union budget, while Dh 20 billion (41% of the total budget) went to the government sector affairs.
The budget allocated Dh 1.8 billion (3.7%) to the infrastructure and economic sector, Dh 1.6 billion (3.2%) to financial assets and Dh 1 billion (2.1%) to federal spending.
The state budget is in consistence with initiatives and projects and assigned allocations in the Federal Government strategy for the same period in tandem with the zero-based budget framework.
The Council of Ministers also gave its nod to issuing the executive regulations of the U.A.E. Competition law which regulates economic activities and exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) which affect competition in the State. The law supports national efforts to deliver the U.A.E. Vision 2021 which seeks to build a knowledge-based economy.
The Council of Ministers approved a resolution aimed at regulating the Emirates Green Card for rationalisation of water consumption. The system awards water consuming devices in buildings and facilities a green card in reward for complying with the system's requirements for protection of the environment.
The Green Card serves as a guide for rational consumption of water and protects consumers in line with the U.A.E.'s green development strategy.
The Council of Ministers also approved a resolution restructuring the General Authority of Sports and Youth Welfare under the chairmanship of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
In another resolution, the Cabinet reshuffled the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council after the expiry of its term. Younis Haji Al Khouri, Under-Secretary of Ministry of Finance, will chair the Council which also includes high-calibre federal and local competencies and experts.
During yesterday's session, the Cabinet endorsed the final consolidated accounts of the Union for the fiscal year 2013, final accounts of the National Transport Authority for fiscal year 2012 and closing accounts for fiscal year 2013 of the Emirates Real Estate Corporation, Emirates Post Group Holding, Emirates General Petroleum Corporation (Emarat) and Emirates General Transport and Services Corporation.
The Council of Ministers also gave its consent for the State subscription in the fifth capital increase of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The move underlines the government's resolve in cooperating with regional and international organisations for serving development projects and helping the private sector access financing facilities and services. The U.A.E. is one of the key founders of the Jeddah-based IDB.
Reviewing the Federal National Council recommendations, the Cabinet passed the house recommendations regarding policies of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research on scientific research and that of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
On regional and international level, the Council of Ministers approved a series of agreements including the protocol for amending the agreement for avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion with Poland, and another treaty on mutual administrative cooperation on customs matters with The Maldives. Air transport agreements the U.A.E. signed with Myanmar, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Slovenia were approved