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Biggest ever budget unveiled
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 12 - 2011


Expenditure at SR690b, revenue at SR702b
New projects worth SR265 billion planned
SR168b for developing human resources
SR87b to upgrade health and social servicesRIYADH — Riding high on steady oil prices in world markets and showing signs of a robust and resilient economy, the Kingdom Monday unveiled its budget for the fiscal year 1433-34H (2012). It is by far the biggest budget in the history of the nation with expenditure surging to SR690 billion, an increase of SR110 billion on last year's budget. Revenues are estimated at SR702 billion as oil prices are likely to remain high during the fiscal year.
Presenting the budget at a meeting of the Council of Ministers here, King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, said the budget is the “continuation of efforts to strengthen and enhance the sustainable development of our dear country.” Moreover, the Monarch said, the budgetary allocations in different sectors will create more job opportunities for citizens.
The budget includes plans to launch new projects and the expansion of several other projects. A sum of SR265 billion has been set aside for the purpose, the King said. “The budget confirms the continuation of our policies in according top priority to the development of human resources. Owing to this, an amount of SR168 billion has been allocated for general and higher education and training of manpower,” the King said.
Part of this spending on human resources includes the construction of more than 700 new schools for girls and boys, new university campuses and other technical training projects.
In the area of the health and social development, a sum of SR87 billion has been allocated to provide and upgrade the standards of health and social services. Additionally, the new budget includes the implementation of a number of projects, such as the completion and preparation of primary health centers all over the Kingdom besides the construction of 17 new hospitals.
The budget also includes new projects for setting up sports clubs and cities as well as construction of a number of correctional homes and social rehabilitation centers along with the necessary allocations for the support of social security programs.
More than SR29 billion has been allocated for spending on municipal services, while SR35 billion will be spent on roads, transportation and communications. In addition, SR58 billion will be spent on water, agriculture and other basic infrastructure.
As has been the case with previous budgets, there will be allocations to continue the implementation of the national plan for science and technology and the plan for telecommunications and information technology. The King added that government agencies and financial institutions will continue to provide loans for industrial and agricultural projects and small and medium-scale projects. This is intended to support economic development and stimulate commercial financing.
“We are thankful to Almighty Allah for enabling us to continue mobilizing all our financial potential in the service of our beloved country. We pray to Allah to help us continue doing this in the interest of citizens,” said the King.
Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance, said in a statement that actual revenues are expected to reach SR1.110 trillion with an increase of 160 percent. About 93 percent of the revenues will come from oil. The general expenditure is expected to reach SR804 billion with an increase of SR224 billion representing an increase of 39 percent.
King Abdullah has directed the transfer of SR250 billion of the surplus of the current budget to the account of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and this amount has been allocated to finance the construction of 500,000 residential units approved by a Royal Decree issued earlier this year.
A major characteristic of the state's budget for the new fiscal year 2012-13 is to strengthen the march of development and to push forward the wheel of economic growth. It is aimed at finding new job opportunities for citizens, the minister said.
Financial allocations have been distributed on education, health, security services, municipal and social services, water, sanitary drainage, roads, electronic transactions and scientific research, Al-Assaf said.


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