Bahrain Gained Additional BD 600 Million Due to Oil Prices Hike Last Year... Where does this Money Go?
2022-03-18 - 8:37 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Oil prices increased significantly last year, compared to what the government adopted in the state budget, which raises the same questions repeated annually about the fate of the amounts collected as a result of the price increase.
As usual, the government adopted a conservative price in the 2021-2022 state budget at $50 per barrel, but oil prices rose on average last year to $70, an estimated increase of about 40%.
This means that Bahrain earned an additional $20 per barrel it sold last year. According to government estimates that revenues are estimated at BD 1.583 million, it can be said that the state treasury received about BD 600 million more than expected when drafting the budget.
The question is: Where does this money go?
Normally, the state discloses this increase in the state's final account through which the government discloses the actual revenues it has received in addition to their disbursements.
The government is not usually committed to issuing transparent statements about the size and fate of the increase in revenues, which raises questions about the fate of more than BD 600 million and whether it will go to the accounts of the ruling family.
The government is supposed to refer the final account of the state to the Shura Council and the House of Representatives for discussion and approval.
Not only the fate of these additional amounts usually remains unknown in the final accounts, but also the fate of the project budget allocated each year, as the project budget is not fully spent and its fate remains unknown as well.
If we assume that the government approved BD 150 million for projects it implements in 2021, it will only implement projects worth BD 50 million, and the final accounts of the state do not reveal the fate of the other BD 100 million.
In addition, the fate of the funds borrowed is not disclosed. The Government usually borrows more money annually than it needs. In the 2018-2019 budget, the government borrowed about BD 1.865 billion, while the deficit was only BD 1.335 billion.
This means that the government borrowed BD 530 million more than it needed to pay the budget deficit, so where did the money which accounts for more than half a billion dinars go?
We are facing an act of huge corruption and public theft, while no one in the House of Representatives or the press are allowed to hold the government accountable and question where hundreds of millions go annually.
The government has used deficits and public indebtedness as excuses to raise taxes and stop employee and retiree allowances, so will the government restore citizens' rights as oil prices hike, or will the theft continue?