Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council Reviews Economic Developments Resulting From Coronavirus Impacts

Muscat, The Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council today held its second meeting of the year (2020) at the Ministry of Finance under the chairmanship of Darwish bin Ismaeel al-Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council.

The meeting reviewed the economic developments resulting from impacts of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, notably the sharp decline of international oil prices and their 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 the following procedures:

– Stressing the necessity of adherence of ministries and government civil, military and security units to the prescribed budget cuts of 5% 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 (Covid-19).

– 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.

The Council reviewed other topics and took appropriate decisions in their regard.

Source: Oman News Agency