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Saudi Arabia's largest National Budget

The 2007 national budget of Saudi Arabia was announced on Monday, the largest in the Kingdom's history, with projected revenues of SR400 billion ($106 billion) and expenditures of SR380 billion ($101 billion).

Authorities also revealed that a record budget surplus of SR265 billion would be reached this year, according to Arab News. Public debt would be shrunk to SR366 billion by the end of 2006, they added. The budget puts special emphasize on capital expenditures that will create more job opportunities and boost economic growth.

Allocations made for expenditures in the 2007 budget were SR45 billion higher than that of 2006 budget where expenditures were put at SR335 billion, stated King Abdullah, who unveiled the budget during the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.

He added that the budget would meet the goals of the 8th Five-Year Development Plan, making necessary services available to citizens.

“The budget also aims at reducing public debt,” the king said in an address to the nation.

“By the grace of God, we have been able to pay back a large part of the debt to bring it down to SR366 billion by the end of the current fiscal year.” Abdullah added that the budget included new projects aimed at development throughout the Kingdom worth some SR140 billion.

The Finance Ministry also revealed that some SR40 billion from the 2006 budget surplus was allocated by King Abdullah for additional development projects. Additionally, SR20 billion had been allocated increase the capital of Public Investment Fund (PIF), while SR96.7 billion was allocated to education and manpower training.

“We are keen on meeting the requirements needed for raising the educational capabilities of teachers and improving their performance by introducing modern educational methods,” King Abdullah said in his keynote speech according to the Saudi Press Agency.

“We have issued our directives to increase the capacity of educational institutions,” the king said, adding that these institutions would focus on specializations required by the labor market. The 2007 budget has made allocations to establish and furnish 2,000 schools and to open four new universities in Baha, Tabuk, and Najran in addition to a university for girls in Riyadh. The existing universities will get 56 new colleges," he added.

An additional SR39.5 billion will be allocated for health, SR15.5 billion for municipal services, SR13.6 billion for transport and telecom sectors, and SR24.8 billion for water, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.


Anonymous BusinessT said...

A growing budget does signify an economic growth, but it is essential that authorities make policies to ensure that the bulk of funding goes to local business and create opportunities for Saudi based SMEs

11:09 PM  

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