The Syrian government on Tuesday approved the draft budget for 2015 for 1,554 billion Syrian Pounds.
The government also discussed the budget’s plans for next year.
This year's budget is considered the highest in Syria’s history – if taken in Syria Pounds. However, if considered in U.S. dollars, it amounts to less than half of the 2011 budget, and one billion Syrian Pounds less than last year’s budget.
The budget announced equates to 8.1 billion U.S. dollars, at 190 SP to the dollar. However, in 2011, the budget was 17.3 billion U.S. dollars at a rate of 48 SP to the dollar. The 2014 budget is around 9.2 billion U.S. dollars.
Some experts say the regime was forced to reduce the budget because it lost control of wide areas of Syria, especially the north and east. In practical terms, the regime now only controls Damascus and a narrow route connecting it with Hama, Homs and the Coast, along with a small area of Aleppo and Idleb. Therefore, spending has decreased, leading to a reduced budget.
On the other hand, others believe that losing important sources of petrol and agricultural resources especially in the eastern regions, reduced the government’s funding resources, which resulted in the real reduction in the budget.
The Syrian government did not release a detailed description of the budget, as it is expected to be decided within a month from now. It will be agreed in the parliament and announced by Bashar al-Assad through a presidential decree.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer