posted on 31/10/2012: 573 views
The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said yesterday that health, education, social welfare of UAE citizens and the development of government services will be the top priorities of the UAE budget for 2013. This is in accordance with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide prosperity, security and decent life for citizens wherever they are, he added.
Sheikh Mohammed was speaking while chairing on Tuesday a meeting of the Cabinet,, during which the Union Budget for fiscal year 2013 was approved. Total revenues are estimated at Dh 44.6 billion and expenditures at an equal amount, with no budgeted deficit The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were present at the meeting.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that the budget is part of the three-year budget plan for 2011-2013 with a total expenditure of Dh 133 billion. This seeks to meet the requirements of the Federal government's strategic plan for all sectors and at enhancing various services and social care provided to the citizens within an integrated vision that extends to the year 2021.
The Cabinet also approved the composite union budget for 2013, which includes the draft general budget as well as the budgets of independent federal authorities with total revenues estimated at Dh 55 billion and a surplus of Dh 5 million.
The union budget for 2013 is focussed on the social development sector and on social benefits with total allocations for them standing at Dh 22.7billion. Education took the largest single share of the budget, at Dh 9.9 billion, representing 22 per cent of the total allocations. In the effort to complete the implementation of the country's Education Development Strategy, the education budget has been increased to Dh 6 billion to support development initiatives in government schools and to provide the required financial support for promotion of the teaching staff.
The amount earmarked for the social development sector and social welfare represented 51 per cent of the union budget for 2013, with a total allocation of Dh 22.7 billion.
Public education, Higher Education, Health, Labour, Social affairs, Islamic Affairs, Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme and other social welfare programmes fall under this category.
The Governmental Affairs category, including defence, interior, justice, foreign affairs and other federal departments, accounted for 41pc of the federal budget with total allocations standing at Dh 18.3 billion.
The budget allocated to the Ministry of Education is about Dh6billion, which constitutes 13.6 per cent of the total federal budget. The budget will help implement the ministry's development plan through provision of the latest educational technologies.
The Higher Education's budget is Dh3.9 billion. It will be used for the development of higher education and scientific research, scholarships for Emirati students abroad, construction of more buildings and premises at public universities and colleges.
The budget allocated to the Ministry of Social Affairs for year 2013 is Dh3 billion to ensure provision of decent living for the beneficiaries of social aid, and to ease burden on Emirati citizens.
Meanwhile, the budget allocated to the Ministry of Health is Dh3.4 billion. It will be used for provision of comprehensive health services to all citizens. It will also enable the ministry develop and set up medical centres and premises nationwide. The budget will also be used for furthering Emiratisation of jobs in the medical field.
The infrastructure has the lion's share in the federal budget for year 2013. The Federal Electricity and Water Authority's budget is Dh5.2 billion to keep pace with rising demands for water and electricity services in the northern emirates. The budget will also fund the development projects in this sector, especially in the new residential areas.
During its session yesterday, the Cabinet endorsed the final accounts of the ended fiscal year of a number of federal institutions such as the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, Emirates Post Holding Group and Emirates General Transport and Services Corporation for the year 2012.
The Council of Ministers endorsed a number of agreements in the area of nuclear energy, among others, the cooperation agreement between the UAE and Australia, the UAE and Canada for the civil use of nuclear energy. The two agreements aim to boost the cooperation between the UAE with both countries in the areas of peaceful use of nuclear energy. The agreements emphasise the state's commitment to the safe use of nuclear energy in an orderly and environmentally method.
In the field of air transport, the Cabinet endorsed the cooperation agreement between the governments of the UAE and the Republic of Panama, which is based on deployment of an unspecified number of national carriers between the two countries, and operation of any number of weekly flights between them without any restrictions. The Cabinet also approved the agreement on regulating air transport services between the UAE Government and the European Union. The agreement will promote trade and tourism between the UAE and European Union, open new markets, develop commercial and tourist traffic between the two parties. It will contribute to creation of an area of "Euro-Mediterranean Aviation" between the two sides on the basis of common rules beside the liberalisation of air transport markets.
In the area of customs, the Cabinet ratified the agreement on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters between the UAE and the Republic of Korea, as well as the UAE and the Republic of Argentina. The two agreements aim to facilitate customs procedures between the UAE and both Korea and Argentina. They are also aimed at raising efficiency of customs through exchange of information, expertise and visits.
The Council of Ministers also endorsed the agreement for establishing the World Institute for Green Growth signed by the UAE in Rio de Janeiro in Brasil in addition to /16/ other countries in order to support the sustainable development. It also approved the agreement on transfer of the International Institute for green growth to an international organisation.
The Cabinet endorsed the Statute of the Centre of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States for the Emergency Management, which aims to strengthen capacity, efforts and coordination of the GCC in the field of emergency management.
It also ratified the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the UAE and both the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The deal comes in line with the judicial and legal cooperation with the two countries. It complements the extradition agreements signed by the parties. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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