OCTOBER 21, 2015
Dubai - AFP - Reuters: Take the International Monetary Fund should be on Gulf states to cope with the «new reality» caused by the drop in oil prices, which may continue for years, these countries recommended to reduce public spending and to diversify sources of income.
The fund said, in his report on the the outlook for the global economy, which was published on Wednesday, said the Gulf states seem in a good position to take the necessary steps to amend the financial approach measures, thanks to the huge financial reserves collected during the boom in oil prices.
He said Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East and Central Asia in the fund, which submitted to Dubai for the release of the outlook report «the Gulf states to make changes in order to align their spending with the new reality of oil prices, and not only this year but over the coming
years»., said in an interview that the budgets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) faces a shortfall 13 percent of their GDP on average this year. He added that the total deficit of these countries over the next five years will reach about a thousand billion dollars.
The International Monetary Fund forecast to slow growth in the Gulf Group to 3.25 percent this year and 2.75 percent next year, compared B3.5 percent in 2014.
Ahmed said «that the majority (analysts) believe that oil prices could rise a bit from the level which is currently in it ... we see that by 2020 prices will be in the range of $ 65 or less, not at the level of prices we have come». The «That means that he should most of these countries can go ahead in the process of amending a sustainable and wide-ranging in its finances».
According to the official at the IMF, the amendments should include diversification away from oil, in addition to cutting subsidies on prices, and the reduction of the wage bill in the public sector.
According to Ahmed that «most of the citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are working in the public sector, and must change this model over the next few years».
He welcomed Ahmed lifting Emirates recently fuel subsidies, and considered that the move constitutes «exemplary» For the rest of the GCC countries.
and raised Kuwait in turn support for diesel and fuel oil aircraft, with plans of other countries in the region to similar steps.
must - according to the official at the International Monetary Fund - also spending cut on the projects, and to focus more on efficiency.
Ahmed said «spending rose In many of these countries. Some of the projects have already been cut and the pace of their implementation, as has been postponed other projects. In all cases, the most important is now the efficiency of the project. » In terms of diversifying sources of income, Ahmed said he could for the Gulf States that rely low tax regimes, should consider taxing spending to raise revenue outside the oil sector.
He said in this context that «several countries in the Cooperation Council are considering the possibility of imposing a tax on value started ... as a way to achieve revenues from outside the oil sector.
»He said« there are tough choices to be taken, but it is important to define each country what it has to play in all of these issues, and develop a plan for the medium term ».
Most of the Gulf countries find themselves in well positioned to cope with the new reality in the oil market, thanks to the huge financial reserves.
Ahmed said «Gulf countries have saved a lot of wisdom during the period of high oil prices. That puts these countries in a strong position today in the face of the shock waves caused by the low prices that we are seeing ».
He was considered to be on the Gulf states to use some of these precautions« to be coping with the reality of the new prices process more gradual, and in order to have more time to do the change ».
He concluded by saying« It's a powerful economies have a lot of precautions and the heads of large funds, as have the ability to resort to financial markets to borrow. It states in a position of strength ».
With regard to Saudi Arabia, Ahmed said the IMF estimates that Riyadh is facing a record deficit in the budget to exceed $ 100 billion this year, accounting for 21.6 percent of GDP, with shrinking revenues largest oil exporter in the world because of Low crude prices.
The «It is very clear that Saudi Arabia needs to make major fiscal adjustment and structural last several years.» He continued to say that the authorities «assess all aspects» but not yet how to decide the balance between the priorities in financial reforms is clear.
The Saudi finance minister, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, said last month that the government began to cut unnecessary expenses, while continuing to focus on core development projects, but he did not elaborate.
Ahmed said the Saudi financial reforms may include four main aspects: one amendment costly subsidy that keeps on bill energy prices at low levels, and the second support segment revenue non-oil through the imposition of value added tax, for example.
As the government can save money by improving the investment project efficiency, and control of current spending through the rationalization of the public sector wage bill.
According to government statements over the weeks the last few years that the Saudi government has begun to take initial steps toward at least two of those proposals.
The Minister of Housing last Monday that the Council of Ministers submitted a draft of a tax on undeveloped land to the Shura Council, also agreed to establish a new body to improve the efficiency of institutions government
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