Bahrain king approves $16.4 billion budget for two years

Bahrain Finance Ministry spokesman:"The king passed the law for the budget for 2011 and 2012... it will approve expenditures for 6.198 billion Bahraini dinars."

Bahrain flag and boat 311R  (photo credit: Reuters)
Bahrain flag and boat 311R
(photo credit: Reuters)
MANAMA - Bahrain's king approved a budget of $16.44 billion over the next two years, a finance ministry spokesman said on Sunday -- a 44 percent rise in expenditures in the kingdom, hit by political unrest earlier this year.
"The king passed the law for the budget for 2011 and 2012... it will approve expenditures for 6.198 billion Bahraini dinars," a ministry spokesman told Reuters.
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Facing a rising subsidies bill and dragged down by its struggling banking sector, the small non-OPEC energy producer has the weakest fiscal position among Gulf Arab nations.
The tiny Gulf island kingdom was dealt a further blow after weeks of anti-government protests in February and March that lead to an imposition of emergency law, which it revoked last week.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected Bahrain to post deficits of 1.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 and 1.7 percent for 12.