Sheikh Mohammed
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Image Credit: Twitter/@hhshkmohd

Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance has issued instructions to channelise financial resources towards achieving the highest standards of quality of life for Emirati citizens and expatriate residents.

The instructions follow the Cabinet approved the 2021 federal budget of Dh58.113 bil-lion during Sunday’s meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan said the main goal of developing the budget and preparing it in the form of a five-year plan is to upgrade social services and smart government services, increase customer satisfaction as well as highlight federal government efforts towards providing wellbeing, happiness and security to all members of society.

Highest quality of life for all

Sheikh Hamdan said the support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed is the main reason behind the UAE’s superiority and directing its financial resources to achieve the highest standards of quality of life for citizens and residents.

“The 2021 federal budget was developed in with the best global practices, using the latest electronic systems, with the aim of increasing the efficiency of spending and di-recting it towards strategically important sectors,” he said.

Sheikh Hamdan added: “We aim through this well-thought budget to enhance the ability of government agencies to implement and achieve their objectives and pro-grammes with the required efficiency.” He said 2021 is the last year of the five-year plan for 2017-2021, which comes after the announcement of the new structure of the federal government, which saw integra-tion of ministries, bodies and changes of powers and responsibilities.

Sheikh Hamdan highlighted the vision and directives of the wise leadership in guid-ing financial resources, to achieve the highest standards of quality of life and happi-ness for citizens and residents in the country, and provide the highest levels of social care for the eligible groups as well as the best health and educational services. He also pointed out the UAE leadership’s forwarding approach to continue to develop the basic infrastructure necessary to encourage local investment and attract foreign capital to invest in industrial, commercial, real estate and service projects, and to pro-vide a network of modern methods and outstanding government services.

The 2021 budget focuses on directing state financial resources to achieve federal targets and programmes as part of the government’s strategy to ensure sustainable and balanced development and realise the Ministry of Finance’s mission to ensure the best optimal use of government resources and to implement effective fiscal policies. Federal authorities updated their budget drafts for fiscal year 2021 using the auto-mated budget preparation system as part of the five-year general budget plan for 2017-2021 in line with the UAE Vision 2021 to achieve the UAE Centenary 2071, which aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world and number one in all fields.

Budget allocations

Social development and welfare, health

A Dh26.4 billion, accounting 42.6 per cent of the 2021 budget has been allocated to social development and welfare programmes, while 15.7 per cent (Dh9.6 billion) will go to education, breaking down to 10.2 per cent (Dh6.2 billion) for general education, and 5.5 per cent (Dh3.4 billion) for higher education.

An allocation of 8.1 per cent of the total budget (Dh4.97) will go for the health sector, while the necessary funds have been allotted to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

Social rights, pensions, government sectors, infrastructure

Funds allotted for social rights guarantee and community integration programmes amounted to Dh 3.4 billion (5.6 per cent) of the total budget to help community seg-ments that deserve social support, and provide subsidies to special groups in need of care.

The funds allocated for pensions stood at Dh 4.6 billion (7.6 per cent) of the total budget for pensions for civilian and military retirees.

An amount of Dh 21.3 billion (34.8 per cent) of the budget will go to the government sector, to provide the best and latest services and achieve justice for all members of the community.

Also, Dh4.5 billion (7.4 per cent) of the budget has been allocated for infrastructure and economy, while Dh 19.3 billion (31.6 per cent) of the total budget was allocated for social development.