Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The King approved a new draft general budget, which is nothing new. It comprises the same tricks of monopolizing wealth and depriving Bahraini citizens of their natural rights to a decent life.
It is a public budget that does not meet the aspirations of Bahrainis in terms of improving their livelihoods in terms of projects and services. It is a budget devoid of everything, because the secret budget that belongs to the king and his sons contains everything.
It is a budget prepared by the Minister of Finance, the representative of the ruling family in the sham discussions that took place in the Shura Council and Parliament, before the members almost unanimously and without hesitation approved it (upon orders from above).
It is a budget that raised the deficit ceiling, to increase the size of debt, at a time when the state is supposed to record, for the second year in a row, financial savings with spending levels remaining at their current limits, so where does the savings go and where does the money borrowed by the government go?
It is the same game played once again; the budget has been set on a very reserved price per barrel, while oil prices continue to rise. $60 per barrel of oil has been approved, while the IMF expects the oil price to be $90 for this year.
A reserved price was adopted to confront people's demands with flimsy arguments and excuses such as "deficit". If a fair price were adopted, for example, at $80 per barrel, state revenues would have increased by $3 billion over the two fiscal years (one billion and 128 million dinars).
The budget would record $3 billion real revenue (at the very least), not assumed, if a fair price were adopted, but that did not happen because whoever approved the draft budget today monopolizes the entire wealth of the country.
Compared to the Gulf countries, Bahrain is the most reserved country in estimating the oil barrel price in the budget projects, as Saudi Arabia adopted its budget based on $80 per barrel while Kuwait adopted $70.
Even Oman, which approved its budget before the increase in oil prices, raised the expected oil price in this year's budget to $94, and announced a large financial saving that will be used to pay off debts owed by the government.
As for Bahrain, it recorded a hypothetical deficit of one billion and 500 million dollars, until the government borrows more to finance a deficit that does not exist in the first place.
If only the government would borrow one billion and 500 million, it will borrow twice this amount by the end of this year and will not reveal how it will spend it.
This is indeed predictable, because the government borrows one and a half billion dollars annually over and above its need to pay off the deficit, according to Jamal Fakhro, who once inquired about sources to fund proposals to improve citizens' lives.
The price of an oil barrel was supposed to be the starting point in the discussions of the draft general budget, if there were a real parliament that drafts the budget, not a draft referred by the King by a decree that gets the approval of the two chambers, one id which appointed by the king directly and the other indirectly.