KSA restores benefits

SAUDI Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz reversed last year’s austerity measures, reinstating benefits to civil servants and military personnel. The move had affected take-home pay of two-thirds of working Saudi nationals and was considered to be the most severe measure taken to limit government spending in a time of low oil prices.
The decision is a clear indication that economy of the Kingdom is again strengthening after witnessing a difficult phase, which has aptly been managed by visionary policies of King Salman. Falling oil prices necessitated some adjustments in economy and austerity measures are reported to have saved up to 40 billion Riyals. According to officials, reinstatement of benefits was made possible by better than expected fiscal situation after two years of cost-cutting to combat impact of fall in revenue caused by sharp oil slump. However, success of the policies of Saudi Government is reflected by the fact that in first quarter of the current year the deficit was just SR 26 billion as compared to SR 54 billion projected at the beginning of year. The Kingdom is implementing an ambitious Vision-2030, which is aimed at reforming different sectors of the economy and transformation of the economy reliant on hydrocarbons into a power house led by private sector. The plan envisages creation of 450,000 additional jobs by private sector by 2020 and raising of non-oil revenue to SR 530 billion from just SR 163.5 billion at the moment. Improvement in Saudi economy is a good news not only for people of the Kingdom but hundreds of thousands of foreign work force which will have better jobs and pay prospects. As KSA is one of the major donors on the globe, more resources would also mean more cooperative benefits for many countries of the world.

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