Saudi Monarch Announces 2020 Budget

  • "This budget is a continuation of the government's policy to develop basic facilities and services for citizens," King Salman said.
  • "The government is working to raise the quality of life for the citizen through efforts to develop and diversify the economy and improve job opportunities," added MBS.
  • The new budget included 16 items, including transferring what may be achieved from a budget surplus to the state's general reserve account.

The Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, announced the country’s budget for the year 2020 on Monday, and the value of its spending amounted to 1020 billion Riyals ($272 billion). The total size of the new budget deficit, which was announced during the Saudi monarch’s presidency of the cabinet meeting, was estimated at 187 billion Riyals ($49.8 billion) against revenue of 833 billion Riyals ($222 billion).

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been King of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques since 23 January 2015. His son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is considered the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and has led many reforms within the country.

“This budget is a continuation of the government’s policy to develop basic facilities and services for citizens, enhance social protection programs, upgrade government services, raise the level of quality of life, and support housing plans,” Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said. After adopting the royal decree on the budget, the Saudi monarch said that the kingdom is determined to continue implementing economic reforms, stressing at the same time his directive to extend the work in exchange for the cost of living for a year until the end of next year.

“The government is working to raise the quality of life for the citizen through efforts to develop and diversify the economy and improve job opportunities,” the official news channel, Al-Ikhbaria, quoted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as saying. The Saudi crown prince added that the public offering of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil giant, is a big and supportive step in enhancing the role and participation of the private sector in the economy, noting that the Kingdom has recently achieved a remarkable rise in real GDP growth rates for the non-oil sector.

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (colloquially known as MBS) is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Deputy Prime Minister. Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (colloquially known as MBS) is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Deputy Prime Minister. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the economic and structural reforms that the Kingdom has implemented in the past three years “have started to have positive effects,” saying that “the stage of economic transformation adopted by the Kingdom’s government is progressing at a steady pace in accordance with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.”

The new budget included 16 items, including transferring what may be achieved from a budget surplus to the state’s general reserve account, and the inability to create or raise jobs, or ranks during the new fiscal year, with the exception of appointing ministers, and jobs that occur in accordance with the conditions included in the temporary jobs system. Besides the possibility of reducing the ranks, or changing job titles, according to a decision of the Minister of Civil Service, in addition to the need for government agencies to obtain written approval from the Minister of Finance regarding any type of debt instrument, issuance of all kinds of sukuk, or issuance of any government guarantee.

The 2019 budget included a deficit of 131 billion Riyals ($34.9 billion), while at the end of 2019, Saudi Arabia reached 678 billion Riyals ($180.8 billion). The amount of spending in the 2019 budget amounted to about 1106 billion Riyals ($ 95 billion), which means that the amount of spending in the 2020 budget declined, while the deficit rate rose again.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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