MUSCAT, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Oman will continue spending
heavily on job creation for its citizens this year, Finance
Minister Darwish al-Balushi said on Wednesday at a news
conference on the 2013 budget.
"Last year we created 36,000 jobs for Omanis by spending 300
million rials ($780 million)," he said. "This year we will
create 56,000 jobs, of which 20,000 will be in the government
He did not specify how large 2013 spending on jobs would be.
As previously reported, the budget plan envisages spending
of 12.9 billion rials in 2013, up nearly 30 percent from the
2012 plan. Last year's actual spending was about 13 billion
rials, because of outlays on development projects.
Last year's budget envisaged revenues of 8.8 billion rials
and an average price for Oman's oil of $75 per barrel. But
because oil actually averaged $109 last year, revenues came in
at about 14 billion rials, giving the government a surplus of
about 1 billion rials, Balushi said on Wednesday.
He said that surplus would be used to cover part of any
deficit this year. The 2013 budget envisages a deficit of
roughly 1.7 billion rials, based on an average oil price of $85.
Balushi also said Oman's break-even oil price, the level it
would need to balance its budget, would be $104 this year.