Oman may raise state expenditures this year if needed, but the government does not plan to issue any sovereign bonds, Finance Minister Darwish Al Beloushi said yesterday.
"If there is any need arising during the year, then of course we will [spend more]," he told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance and banking conference.
"As far as a sovereign bond is concerned, we do not have any plan for tapping the market, whether it is Islamic or conventional," he said.
Al Beloushi said earlier this month the sultanate planned to boost budget spending by 26 per cent to 54 billion riyals (Dh513 billion) in its five-year plan, which ends in 2015, to create jobs and improve living standards.
In November, the consultative Shura Council approved the 2012 budget draft, estimating expenditures of 10 billion riyals and revenue of 8.8 billion. State news agency ONA said earlier this month that Sultan Qaboos had signed the budget.
Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, who has ruled Oman for 40 years, promised last year to create 50,000 new jobs to defuse social tensions after public protests over jobs and corruption last year.
In September, Al Beloushi told Reuters that government spending should rise to 9.2 billion riyals in 2011 from the initially planned 8.1 billion following the social measures.
Oman's debt to GDP is forecast by the IMF to be the lowest in the Gulf at 3.2 per cent this year.