The Sultanate’s economy has been steadily improving on the back of stable oil and non-oil revenue growth. Statistics show that buoyant oil has helped the nation clock 25.7 per cent rise in total revenue, which touched 4.7 billion rials in the first seven months of the year. This compares well with the 3.74 billion rials achieved in the same period last year. This was made possible by the rise in net oil revenue to 2.57 billion rials until the end of July when compared to 1.79 billion rials in the first seven months of last year. The nation’s achievement is a result of pragmatic planning and resource utilisation. The continued buoyancy of oil prices have indeed helped. But much credit is due to the government’s approach to judicious spending without affecting the welfare measures. The economic diversification programme, meanwhile, has helped promote growth in the non-oil revenues. The non-oil revenue growth in the first half of the year has been pegged at an impressive 40.5 per cent. This achievement attests to the fact that the government has got its priorities right. The non-oil and non-tax revenues grew to a robust 748.2 million rials during the first six months of 2017 when compared to 532.7 million rials during the same period last year. Reports on the national economy draw a pretty picture with the steps that the leadership has wisely initiated beginning to show impressive results. The steps included fiscal tightening and economic diversification. Tanfeedh programme was evolved through a meticulous process and widespread consultations among different stakeholders to identify the key areas that should receive extra focus. The nation’s growth philosophy inspired by the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said from the very beginning has been founded on inclusiveness. That is why the nation has been able to achieve economic growth without sacrificing the human element. No wonder the Sultanate has prospered and is known as the land of one of the world’s happiest people.
The nation’s economic planners have treated infrastructure and industrialisation as two vital growth areas that require maximum attention. The world-class infrastructure has helped spur industrial growth across the Sultanate and decentralise the economy. The Central Bank of Oman recently reported that the robust expansion of the economy from 2010 to 2014 offset the effects of global uncertainties from indifferent hydrocarbon prices. Macroeconomic experts around the world have appreciated the government’s efforts to tackle the challenges through a multi-pronged strategy. The banking regulator has expressed confidence in the current oil recovery considering the pumping cap in place and which is expected to continue. The government has brought about several major changes in investment and labour regulations for pushing up growth. The CBO has rightly assessed that the government’s flagship economic diversification programme will pave the way for sustainable long-term growth. Tanfeedh focuses on channelling the resources to appropriate areas to achieve higher growth in manufacturing, logistics and tourism sectors. The programme leverages the unique advantages the Sultanate has to achieve the avowed objectives.