Saudi Arabia will cancel and postpone spending and cut some allocations for Vision 2030, with a total cost of 100 billion riyals (Dh97.8 billion)
This has been taken as part of the government’s efforts to manage the economic and fiscal impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the crash in oil prices, said Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan on Monday.
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The government also decided to raise value-added tax (VAT) from 5 per cent to 15 per cent starting from July 1 and suspend giving out the cost of living allowance starting from June 1, according to state news agency SPA.
Al Jadaan added that a ministerial committee has been formed to study the financial benefits of all civil servants and come up with a decision in 30 days.
The steps taken to shore up revenue and rationalize spending are valued at about 100 billion riyals ($26.6 billion) in total, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. Overall spending for 2020 will remain close to what was planned as money saved gets re-allocated to health care and aid for businesses, Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said in a telephone interview on Monday.
“These are the priorities: the health care of people and the livelihood of people,” Al- adaan said. “We want to make sure that we maintain our fiscal strength so that as the economy gets out of the lock-down, we are able to support the economy.”
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