Final Account Rejected: Finance Ministry's Trick and Transfer of Hundreds of Millions to Private Accounts

2023-03-06 - 3:35 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Finance Committee of the House of Representatives in Bahrain recommended not to approve the final account of the state for the year 2021, which includes all amounts of actual expenditures and revenues for that fiscal year. 

The Committee justified its decision with several observations, the most important of which was to put an end to the primary deficit in the state's general budget.

The government always estimates that there are inflated deficits when preparing the state budget, which opens the door to borrowing to cover this deficit.

This is one of the tricks practiced by the Ministry of Finance to increase borrowing. When drafting the general budget law, the ministry estimates a large unrealistic financial deficit.

The Committee explained that the deficit in the general budget decreased by 74.7% in 2021, and this shows that the government assumes a false budget deficit to manipulate the distribution of revenues or increase the borrowing margin.

This policy, which is practiced annually by the government, has increased the financial burden on the state, causing the public debt to reach record levels of 19 billion dinars this year. 

Interest on public debt amounted to more than 750 million dinars annually, the largest item in the budget burdened with debts that we do not need but the government borrows for undisclosed reasons.

The general budget recorded an estimated deficit of 112 million dinars in 2022, but the actual deficit by the end of the year, according to (already dubious) numbers, amounted to only 187 million dinars. 

Despite this, the government borrowed more than half a billion dinars to cover a 187 million dinar deficit. Meanwhile, it did not disclose where more than 300 million dinars went. 

The parliamentary committee also noted the rate of project implementation, as the implementation rate of projects did not exceed 50%. This means that 50% of the project budget allocated by the government in 2021 has not been disbursed and transferred back to the Ministry of Finance. 

If we assume that the government allocated 300 million dinars for projects, more than half of this amount (150 million dinars) was transferred back to the Ministry of Finance. The Government does not disclose where this amount was spent too.

This is one of the tricks practiced by the Ministry of Finance to manipulate public funds, and these funds are usually transferred to secret accounts or to cover security expenses. 

These observations are repeated annually when discussing the final accounts of the state, which means that there is an annual waste of hundreds of millions of public funds, which are at the disposal of the ruling family. 

Increasing the deficit and the public debt ceiling, not implementing projects, and then transferring funds to secret accounts are all tactics practiced annually by the Ministry of Finance to drain state finances only for the benefit of the ruling family. 

Arabic Version