Dubai 2010 deficit may be smaller -Dubai budget chief

* Budget on track, no plans for new taxes

* Deficit not to exceed the 2010 plan of 2 pct of GDP

DUBAI, Aug 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Dubai’s government budget deficit
for 2010 could be smaller than a projected two percent of GDP,
the head of the emirate’s budget committee said late on Sunday.

Dubai, which is facing a debt pile estimated at over $100
billion, has a 2010 budget gap projected at 6 billion dirhams
($1.6 billion), up from an expected 4.2 billion gap in 2009.

“This year we will not go over (the planned budget
deficit), it could be less,” Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the head of
Dubai’s budget committee, said on the sidelines of a gathering
of Dubai officials.

After receiving a $10 billion bailout from neighbouring —
and richer — emirate Abu Dhabi at the end of last year, to
avoid a default of billions of dollars worth of debt at
state-owned conglomerate Dubai World [DBWLD.UL], Dubai has been
seeking ways to improve and bring government finances under
better control.

When asked whether the government would introduce or take
other measures to boost government income, he said: “As a local
and even as the government, I want to keep everything as it is.
I want Dubai to be the cheapest city in the region.”

The emirate does not provide detailed budget figures.

Tamim, who is also the emirate’s police chief, said that
the government’s budget this year would be on track: “We are
sure to keep our budget as predicted. This year everything is
going perfect. We will do anything not to go over the budget.”

Abdulrahman al-Saleh, director general of Dubai’s
Department of Finance, who was also attending the gathering of
officials, said he was not under any pressure to tackle the
budget.

“We are not under pressure. There is a finance team working
on it,” Saleh told Reuters.

In February, Saleh said he planned to trim the government’s
operating expenses by 15 percent this year to reduce the budget
gap. [ID:nLDE61R07F]
($1=3.672 Uae Dirham)
(Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Erika Solomon and Martin
Dokoupil; Editing by Reed Stevenson and Diane Craft)

Dubai 2010 deficit may be smaller -Dubai budget chief