It's a budget that invests for the long term.
It's a budget that sets priorities. It's a budget that will help us sustain economic growth and uphold pro-development policies.
In absolute terms, the deficit is high. However, this will contribute significantly to the country's gross domestic product. As economic activity gets a boost, the deficit will indirectly spur further economic growth.
Low price of natural gas inputs, provision of world class port services, tax exemption for a renewable period of five years and encouragement of foreign capital in natural gas-based industrial projects led to the implementation of many projects with a total cost of $13 billion.
The thrust of the budget is to improve the standard of living of citizens, of course, to create more jobs for nationals.
Oman's oil production has been declining over the last few years. Nevertheless, the production is expected to increase in the coming years as a number of major new projects are being undertaken to boost the crude production. The average production estimated for the next Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) is 827,000 barrels per day.
The dimension of the current Five Year Plan (2001-2005) ending on December 31, 2005, entails economic balance and sustainable growth. Conservatively, the focus has been on real average income per capita by targeting annual GDP growth of not less than three per cent at constant rates. As the plan comes to a close, we expect to have achieved this target comfortably.
The government is maintaining full vigilance on the inflationary front and will take all measures that are necessary to keep inflation under control for macro-economic stability and growth.