Growth in line with citizens’ welfare
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s decisions to help ease the economic burden of citizens will benefit governmental employees, retirees, social security beneficiaries, students, and military personnel posted along the southern borders. The King’s directive also covers private health and educational services and housing.
The decisions also cover the developmental sectors directly associated with citizens’ day-to-day life. Civil servants and military personnel will get a SR 1,000 pay rise to offset the increased cost of living. Additionally, the Citizen’s Account provides for subsidies for water, electricity and fuel expenses.
The handout, estimated to be more than SR 50 billion over 2018, reaffirms that the economic sector regulations are flexible and can adapt to any socioeconomic variables and dynamics. The extent of such flexibility is under constant follow-up by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Crown Prince.
The medium-term economic growth targets, a main objective of Vision 2030, have been reviewed and amended to achieve fiscal balance by 2023 instead of 2020. These amendments are aimed at avoiding any negative effects on non-oil product growth.
The Fiscal Balance Program has five determinants for financial sustainability. They include increasing the efficiency of capital and operational expenditure, correcting water and energy prices, increasing other governmental revenues, redirecting the subsidies to eligible beneficiaries via the Citizen’s Account, and fostering private sector growth. In February, initiatives serving the same objectives and focusing on private sector contribution to GDP growth are expected to be announced.
All-round development will always be in line with the welfare of the citizens. This is what the Kingdom’s leadership has clearly demonstrated.