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Qatar hands finance ministry more control

New laws have been introduced in Qatar to give the country’s finance ministry more power over public spending, with a view to reining in overspending

Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Qatar's minister of finance. Image: Getty
Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Qatar's minister of finance. Image: Getty

Qatar’s finance ministry has been granted more power over public spending in response to the drop in the price of oil and the effect it will have on fiscal reserves.

The Emir passed legislation to tighten the nation’s purse strings in response to declining revenues and rising construction costs, reports Arabian Business.

Included in the new laws awarded the ministry, is the power to curb departmental overspending and track income and expenditure more effectively.

Minister of finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi said the new measures are intended to “protect public funds,” according to the country’s state news agency.

“The law would boost the efficiency of public spending by tracking income and expenses accurately and continuously,” he said. The new law is also designed to give the finance department increased flexibility to deal with “economic and financial developments”, and set “clear boundaries” between government departments, QNA reports.

The dramatic drop in oil prices has prompted some economists to predict that this year, Qatar will run its first budget deficit in more than a decade.

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