Oman 2015 budget raises state spending at expense of big deficit

Government expenditure this year is estimated at $36.6 billion

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Oman's finance ministry released a state budget for 2015 on Thursday that raises spending at the cost of a big projected deficit due to the plunge in oil prices.

Government expenditure this year is estimated at 14.1 billion rials ($36.6 billion), up 4.5 percent from last year's original plan, the ministry said.

Revenues are projected at 11.6 billion rials, down 1 percent, leaving an anticipated deficit of 2.5 billion rials, equivalent to about 8 percent of Oman's annual gross domestic product.

The ministry said it would look at a range of ways to cover the shortfall. Grants from foreign donors could provide 200 million rials, international loans 200 million, borrowing from the local market 400 million, state reserve funds 700 million, and previous years' surpluses one billion rials.

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