Cash-transfer program for low-income Saudi citizens

The Kingdom is expected to unveil a budget that will boost spending to support economic growth. (AFP)

The Kingdom plans to start a cash-transfer program to help low- and middle-income Saudis, according to sources. Low-and middle-income families can register for cash transfers from Feb. 1 and the payments will start in June, according to the sources. The plans come as the Kingdom prepares to announce its annual budget on Thursday.

The Kingdom is expected to unveil a budget that will boost spending to support economic growth. The government is expected to announce that its budget deficit fell sharply this year to SR297 billion ($79.2 billion), the sources said. That would allow Riyadh to claim substantial success in its battle against deficit caused by low oil prices.

Also read: Gulf markets set to consolidate before Saudi budget 2017

Government revenues totaled SR528 billion in 2016, slightly higher than the SR514 billion originally projected, while spending was SR825 billion, slightly lower than the SR840 billion in the original plan.

The 2017 budget plan sets spending of SR890 billion, 6 percent higher than the original projection for spending in 2016. Revenues next year are projected at SR651 billion, up from SR514 billion. The 2017 spending and revenue numbers imply Saudi Arabia would reduce its deficit further next year to SR239 billion. The government has said it aims to eliminate the deficit by 2020.

The article was published in Saudi Gazette on December 22.

Al Arabiya channel live coverage of Saudi Budget 2017 starts at 1600 Mecca time.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:59 - GMT 10:59
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