Oman’s Subsidies in the News again

as they hit 12% of Government Expenditure

Once again Oman’s subsidies made to a variety of products is a feature of an article; today in the Times of Oman. In Oman Total subsidy and exemption estimate for 2015 is at OMR1.8 billion (thats USDollar 4.67Billion) says the Times of Oman and it will be entrenched further with the establishment of the ‘strategic food reserve’ .

According to Reuters, Oman Government expenditure this year is estimated at 14.1 billion rials ($36.6 billion).
So subsidy is about 12% of Government expenditure – which incurred a deficit of OMR1.06 billion in 2014 and is projected to increase to OMR2.5 billion in 2015.

Oman Oil waiting for Customers
Oman Oil waiting for Customers

According to Boston Consulting – private wealth in Oman Increased by well over 30% in 2014  (admittedly not evenly spread but one could say that for your ‘typical Omani’ wages have gone up by 50/60% over the last 5 years) .
Subsidy has meant Petrol prices haven’t increased in perhaps 20 years.
Electricity again hasn’t increased since the jump following private development of Manah Power in 1995.
Water – well in many cases direct from a Government provided supply point – its Free.
Perhaps the question after so many months or years of similar headlines by the Times of Oman should be – when ?!

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman