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Saudi finance minister very optimistic on 2016 budget gap

Reiterates that government intends to make all delayed payments to private sector as soon as possible

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabian finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said on Thursday that he was optimistic about efforts to cut the government’s budget deficit.

Asked by reporters if the deficit for this year, which is expected to be announced late next month along with the 2017 budget plan, would be lower than originally planned, Jadaan said it was too early to say but he was personally very optimistic.

Jadaan, speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference, also reiterated that the government intended to make all delayed payments to the private sector as soon as possible. Delayed payments are estimated to total a “significant amount of billions” of dollars, he said.