Riyadh "Riyadh Daily"
Stimulating Structural Reform

The State 2019 Budget introductory statement - issued yesterday for the first time with a total expenditure of SR 1,106 billion - brought many financial and economic advantages, confirming efforts aimed at carrying out the Kingdom's reform and economic plans of diversifying economy and achieving financial sustainability in the light of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and other programs, foremost of which is achieving the objectives of the fiscal balance program by 2023.

The statement's details reinforced the principle of transparency and financial disclosure, at the level of informing citizens earlier about the current situation, the future trends and the objectives that the government has been seeking to achieve as a component for developing the financial planning in the Kingdom. The details unveiled the total sums that the Kingdom intends to spend in the near and medium term. These sums will be directed mainly to the major sectors of health, education, municipal services, social benefits and financing expenses and subsidies. They will be also directed to special programs affecting the lives of citizens, and through which the State seeks to increase employment opportunities and improve the life quality and style.

Besides, the statement carried a myriad of reassuring indicators with regard to increasing the investment spending, continuing the structural reform process that stimulates economic growth, raising the efficiency of spending, producing promising and continuous job opportunities that stimulate the economic activity, as well as emphasizing the orientation of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during the upcoming year to continue the implementation of initiatives, programs and projects, diversify the economy to enable the private sector to achieve its role in the economic growth, and continue developing non-oil revenues at the expense of oil revenues to reduce reliance on oil as the State's main generator of revenues.

It is important to note the measures and financial reforms contained by the statement and that were implemented over the past two years and have begun to bear fruit and directly and positively affect the State's total oil and non-oil revenues. For instance, the Ministry expected revenues for the current year 2018 to reach SR 882 billions, at an increase of SR 100 billion compared to what was previously estimated. The Ministry also expected expenditures to reach SR 1030 billion, at an expected deficit of SR 148 billion, compared to the previous deficit estimated at SR 195 billion.

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