Yemen cabinet approves 4 pct spending rise in 2014 budget

SANAA Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:58am EST

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SANAA Dec 26 (Reuters) - Yemen's cabinet approved a draft budget for 2014 that would raise state spending about 4 percent to 2.88 trillion rials ($13.4 billion) from the original 2013 budget plan, state news agency SABA reported.

The impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation came close to economic collapse after a popular uprising in 2011 forced former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Estimated revenue for 2014 is around 2.20 trillion rials, up about 6 percent from the 2013 budget plan, SABA reported late on Wednesday without giving details of revenue sources. Finance minister Sakhr al-Wajeeh told the agency that next year the government would work harder to generate revenue from the non-oil sector, taxes and customs duties.

The 2014 draft budget, which still needs approval by parliament, projects a deficit of around 679 billion rials, SABA said. That compares with a deficit of 682 billion rials envisaged in the original 2013 budget.

Yemen's finances are still being strained by frequent attacks on oil pipelines by disgruntled tribesmen. Crude exports provide up to 70 percent of government budget income.

Economic recovery in Yemen, the second-poorest Arab state after Mauritania where 40 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, has accelerated this year. The International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of 6.0 percent in 2013 against 2.4 percent last year; in 2011, when unrest gripped the country, the economy shrank 12.7 percent.

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