Deputy crown prince promises youth a new Saudi Arabia

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman announces new programs under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

Published: Updated:

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, announced that new programs under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 will be unveiled soon.

“The first among these programs will be the National Transformation Program, which will be made public by the end of the fifth month or the beginning of the sixth month,” he told reporters at a press conference held after approval of the vision by the Cabinet on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The National Transformation Program would be an executive program to realize the goals of the vision in various sectors, mainly service sector and pertaining to needs of citizens. The programs will have details and will be clearly spelled out,” he said.

Replying to questions, Prince Mohammed said that the programs in the health sector include the plan to transform ownership of government hospitals from the Ministry of Health into a holding company and then float their shares into public circulation, in a way enabling citizens to buy them directly, and that would be in the pattern followed in the initial public offering of the shares of Saudi Telecom.

Regarding women’s driving issue, the deputy crown prince said that the government cannot impose anything on society that it does not want and the demand for it has to come from society itself. “We hope that there would be positive changes in future in this respect.”

He promised Saudi youths a new Saudi Arabia. “The vision is not a dream, it’s a reality that will come true,” he said.

Asked where Riyadh would find the funds for a $2 trillion dollar fund after recent borrowing, he said it would come from transferring the ownership of Saudi Aramco to the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“We are speaking about more than $2 trillion. We expect the valuation to be more than $2 trillion.” “We will not allow our country ever to be at the mercy of commodity price volatility or external markets,” Prince Muhammed added.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Apr. 26, 2016.