Minister of Finance: state budget focused on priorities of citizens with implementation of basic development projects

Riyadh, Rabi’I 17, 1437, December 28, 2015, SPA — Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf said that the state budget for the current year focused on the priorities of citizens with continuation of implementation of key development projects as well as taking advantage of the enormous investment in the Kingdom’s infrastructure and construction, including education and health.

In a statement to the news channel Elekhbariah, he noted the implications of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King of the Two Holy Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s speech.

The minister detailed efforts to deal with the drop in oil prices and revenues.

23:52 LOCAL TIME 20:52 GMT

Water, electricity tariffs' increases minor; fuel prices lowest globally

Riyadh, Rabi’I 17, 1437, December 28, 2015, SPA — Minister of Water and Electricity Engineer Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Alhosain stated that 87% of the bills of subscribers of electricity services which have been introduced this year will not be affected by the new change in the tariff.

He added that 52% of the subscribers of water services will not pay more than one riyal per day.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al-Faleh revealed that despite the slight increase in fuel prices in the kingdom, they remain the lowest worldwide.

The two officials’ remarks came during a press conference held by them today in Riyadh to talk about the state budget for fiscal year 1437/1438 H.

23:36 LOCAL TIME 20:36 GMT

Minister of Justice hails Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' economic reform

Riyadh, Rabi’I 17, 1437, December 28, 2015, SPA — Minister of Justice Sheikh Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al Samaani stressed that the state budget revealed the strength and durability of the Kingdom’s economy and its ability to overcome the global economic fallout.

He valued continued implementation of comprehensive development projects despite the drop in oil prices. He noted that oil is the most important resource of the state.

Sheikh Samaani highlighted Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud’s reforms in the economic and developments fields in the kingdom.

23:15 LOCAL TIME 20:15 GMT

Dr. Al-Rabiah: SIDF gives priority to financing energy rationalization projects in factories

Riyadh, Rabi’I 17, 1437, December 28, 2015, SPA — Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund ( SIDF ) Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, stressed that the Fund will give priority to funding energy rationalization projects and raising the efficiency of energy consumption in the Saudi factories.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Al-Rabiah said that the aim is to stimulate the application of standards and requirements of energy efficiency by companies in the industrial sector, especially in petrochemical, steel and cement industries, in line with the direction of the state to increase the efficiency of energy consumption.

He added that the SIDF will continue to support the developmental projects in the industrial sector through providing loans and consulting services for local industrial factories and creating an attractive conditions for investment.
23:10 LOCAL TIME 20:10 GMT

Finance Ministry Issues A Press Release on State's Budget 10 Riyadh

b.Sadad Electronic Payment System
In regards to the implementation of the Sadad electronic payment system, which manages fees and wages of government services in the Kingdom, two new government agencies were recently linked to the system during the current fiscal year 1436/1437; total payments made through the system during the current fiscal year 1436/1437 was SR 98 billion, an increase of 5 percent from the previous fiscal year 1435/1436. This brings the total payments made through the system since its launch until 02/14/1437 AH to nearly SR 409 billion.
c.Modification and issuance of laws and regulations
New regulations, laws and systems have been approved during FY 1436/1437 (2015), including: the Antiquities, Urban Heritage and Museums, the Tourism Law, the Functions of the Direct Public Funds Law, the Child Protection Law, the Anti-Smoking Law, Protected Areas and Wildlife Law, the Corporate Law, and the Undeveloped Urban Lands Law.
A number of regulations have been approved including the Consumer Protection Association, the Saudi Lawyers Society, the Saudi Center for the Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions, the Law of Criminal Procedure, the Martyrs Fund, the Saudi Commission for Contractors, the Saudi Commission for Job Generation and Anti-Unemployment, the Central Department of Statistics and Information, the National Program to Support Project Management, the Saudi SME Authority, the Center for Performance Measurement of Government Agencies, the Center of Achievement and Rapid Intervention and the Saudi Awqaf Authority. It has been approved, in principle, to create the National Center for Strategic Development Studies.
d.Follow-up and Disclosure
The Ministry will issue periodic reports on the implementation of the budget, assess delivery as per the disclosure standards in the government financial statistics of 2001/2014, and will periodically update the Council of Economic Affairs and Development.
17:53 LOCAL TIME 14:53 GMT

Finance Ministry Issues A Press Release on State's Budget 9 Riyadh

The current account of the balance of payments is expected to achieve a deficit of SR 154.9 billion in the current fiscal year 1436/1437 (2015), compared to a surplus of SR 288.4 billion last fiscal year 1435/1436 (2014).

5-Important regulatory and administrative developments:
a.Organizational arrangements
After the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed the reins in the Kingdom, he issued many decisions and orders including the cancelation of 12 Supreme Council committees and bodies, and the establishment of two bodies – Political and Security Affairs and Economic and Development Affairs – in order to raise the efficiency and level of coordination, speed up the decision-making mechanism and follow-up on their implementation, and draw future trends. The Council of Economic and Development Affairs has worked to evaluate the visions and objectives of 46 government agencies, and approved them to develop plans and key performance indicators (KPIs) supporting the diversification of economic growth and sustainable development.

E-Government Transactions
The implementation of the second phase of the National e-Government Project continued; the Project was launched in fiscal year 1427/1428 to support the initiatives and projects for the second operational plan for the e-Government in the Kingdom (2012-2016). The third operational plan for e-Government transactions in the Kingdom is currently being prepared; the plan is to be implemented during 2017-2021 AD. The number of government agencies connected to the secure government network has reached 138, an increase of 24% from the previous fiscal year. The number of government entities that exchange data electronically through the government integration channel has reached 103. The number of online services available through the National e-Government Portal (SAUDI) has exceeded 2,500 electronic services provided by more than 170 government agencies, an addition of more than 500 new electronic services from the previous fiscal year. The number of government agencies connected to the National Call Center (AMER) for e-Government transactions has reached 13, an increase of 85 percent from the previous fiscal year. Smartphone platform (MAAK) was launched to provide all e-Government applications and services for smartphones on a single platform.
17:52 LOCAL TIME 14:52 GMT