Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit drops 71 percent in Q1

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Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan has announced the kingdom’s first quarter budget performance on Thursday, saying the ministry has seen a SAR 144 billion in revenues and increase by 72 percent from last year’s figures.

The minister also announced the first quarter’s expenses reached SAR 170 billion.

Al-Jadaan confirmed that the Saudi budget deficit fell by 71 percent to SAR 26 billion compared to the same period last year.

Saudi Arabia’s total non-oil revenues reached SAR 32 billion during the same time period.

Saudi Arabia’s undersecretary at the ministry of finance also reported that Riyadh saw an increase in oil revenues that amounted to a 115 percent increase, while the increase on income tax 4 percent, tax on goods and services 8 percent, tax on trade 27 percent and Zakat tax up 46 percent.

“Our main focus is to achieve the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030 and our ministry is working with both public sector partners to increase the workings of the private sector in the kingdom,” al-Jadaan told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.

The Saudi minister also explained that the announcement of the budget figures aims at increasing levels of transparency as part of pledges made under Saudi Vision 2030.

“We are seeing much more transparency from the Saudi finance ministry compared to years past. This plays a huge role in key stakeholders across the kingdom in terms of managing finances and expectations as we prepare for the rest of the year,” Mohammed al-Omran, CEO of AMAC Investments, told Al Arabiya.

In a previous interview with Al Arabiya on the sidelines of the Euromoney conference in Riyadh this month, Saudi Minister of finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan said revenues this year were better than previously estimated with the assigned budget.

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