'Health ministry granted SR47bn; SR23bn allocated for private sector dues'

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia is facing the outbreak of global coronavirus pandemic from a position of strength, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Wednesday.

Al-Jadaan said that the government is conducting intensive studies to revive economic movement if health conditions permit and it is coordinating with various countries regarding plans to reopen the economy.

The minister made these remarks during a virtual press conference to talk about the most prominent economic developments in Saudi Arabia in the light of challenges facing the global economy caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Making major policy announcements, the minister said the government has already granted SR47 billion ($12.5 billion) to the Ministry of Health to enable it to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the government has allocated SR23 billion ($6.1 billion) for paying the private sector dues and it is continuing to study the private sector needs.

Al-Jadaan added that the government doesn’t expect to withdraw from the monetary reserve more than SR110-120 billion ($29.2-31.9 billion).

Giving details on the economic performance, Al-Jadaan said the government continued to control the public finances, which helped achieve the targets by the end of 2019, and also met its goal of increasing non-oil revenues by 13 percent last year.

Al-Jadaan said that this growth came in line with a healthy economic activity that resulted in a jump in the gross domestic product (GDP), posting the largest increase in five years.

Al-Jadaan said that the measures taken by the Kingdom to support the private sector and the non-oil sector were led by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

He said that the Kingdom has reserves that are the third in the world in terms of the value of reserves.

In the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman had instructed to form teams to deal with this crisis and ensure the safety of people, including citizens and expatriates, and provide free treatment for all of them. The press conference focused on the initiatives announced by the government to mitigate the effects and implications of the pandemic on the private sector as well as on the national economy.

Source: http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/592215/SAUDI-ARABIA/Health-ministry-granted-SR47bn-SR23bn-allocated-for-private-sector-dues


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