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Deficit Doubled In Syrian Budget

The proposed budget for 2012 is estimated at 1,326 billion Syrian liras, or about $25.02 billion. The budget is assessed at 50% of gross domestic product (GDP), provided the GDP does not decline, compared with 33.4% of GDP in 2011.

The2012 budget would show a deficit of 509 billion liras ($9.51 billion) but could be larger if Syria fails to sell its oil which is estimated to bring revenues of $11 billion. The projected deficit, even if the oil were to be sold and the GDP were not to decline, represents 19% of GDP while the deficit for 2011 was $4.4 billion, or 11.2% of GDP.

Commenting on the budget, Syrian minister of finance Dr. Mohammad al-Jalali declared, "We shall rationalize the expenditure and will place every lira in its proper place."

[Editor's comment: The huge budget deficit is the result of re-introducing subsidies to some categories of oil, expanding social expenditures and the recruitment of thousands of new civil servants as a means of social welfare. Unless it receives large subsidies from its political sponsors, Syria is likely to witness a soaring inflation and the devaluation of its currency.]

Source: Iqtisadi.com October 23, 2011; thawra.alwehda.gov.sy, October 24, 2011

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