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Qatar approves record US$62 billion budget in preparation for World Cup

DOHA, Qatar -- Gas-rich Qatar, pushing ahead with a massive infrastructure drive in preparation for hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup, unveiled a record budget Sunday of almost US$62 billion.

The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, approved a budget of 225.7 billion riyals (US$61.98 billion) for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, up 3.5 percent from last year, said Finance Minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi.

The budget for the Qatari fiscal year which runs from April 1 to March 31 was based on an oil price of US$65 per barrel.

Qatar expects six percent economic growth in 2014 and a 3.7 percent increase in this year's expenditure, rising to 218.4 billion riyals (US$59.977 billion).

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