Saudi Arabia is taking precautionary financial measures to counter the effects of coronavirus outbreak in view of the economic consequences of the global pandemic, Mohammed al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance said.
The government has agreed on cutting $13.32 billion (50 billion riyals), representing less than 5 percent in 2020 budget, in areas that have the least social and economic impact, al-Jadaan said.
“The government took measures to curb impact of oil price drop and will take additional measures to deal with expected price decrease, the minister added, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Al-Jadaan, who is also the Acting Minister of Economy and Planning, also said that given the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak, “developments will be reassessed, items of expenditures will be reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made in a timely manner,” SPA reported.
Al-Jadaan said that the government worked on ensuring the provision of the financial requirements necessary to implement the preventive and direct measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic and limit its spread, and also to protect government installations and agencies, ensuring the continuity of its work.
The minister stressed that the government will provide the additional credits required, and the necessary health services for prevention, treatment and non-proliferation of coronavirus.
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He reiterated the government’s keenness in prioritizing social spending, and reorienting government spending towards emerging social and economic requirements.
Al-Jadaan also emphasized that in light of the remarkable advances in public financial management, there is appropriate flexibility to take measures in the face of emergency shocks, and with a high level of efficiency.
He also affirmed the strength of the government’s financial position, as it maintained huge reserves and assets that enable it to deal with emerging challenges, and reduce the impact of such crises on its goals of maintaining financial sustainability and economic stability in the medium and long term.
The government will continue to raise the efficiency of financial and economic performance so that it can maintain the financial and economic gains that have been made till now, he added.
- With Reuters.