Saudi Arabia pays monthly grant to 10.6 million people a month (half population)

The government of Saudi Arabia announced to plan for the biggest budget in the history of the Kingdom in which it planned to spend at least SR 978 billion ($261 billion) in the upcoming year.

A new welfare system for low and middle-class Saudi families was also announced and it is sad to say that Saudi Arabia’s half of the population consist of Low and middle-income families.

According to the statement of Minister of Labor and social development, Ali bin Nasir Al Ghafis, it was stated that Saudi Arabia paid 2 billion Riyals ($533 million) as its first installment for its new welfare system for low and middle-income families.

The government expects to pay an approximate amount of SR 32 billion (8.5 billion) on the citizenship account payments in 2018. He further said that around 3 million families received the payments who can meet around 10.6 million of their beneficiaries.

They started to pay this amount on Thursday by electronic transfer. The minimum payment is 300 riyals ($80) but they paid half of the families with 938 Riyals ($250).  The government recently introduced a tax on many products such as tobacco product, soft drinks, and energy drinks. 

Fuel prices, electricity rates, and gasoline prices will increase in 2018. As the oil prices have decreased the government is trying to make reforms that will likely to strengthen the economy.

The government has introduced reforms such as increasing the fuel prices, government salaries and allowances have been cut temporarily which has decreased the disposable income left to the public.

These reforms are likely to strengthen the government finances. The government has announced that it would be directly paying allowances to households before next hike in energy prices is expected. The allowances paid by the government will be targeted to reduce overconsumption in households.

The government stated that the public sector will get a direct allowance on households in cash.  It was also stated that about 20% of the family was not qualified for this.

Only lower income Saudi would be fully compensated for the economic burden of the reforms. It was said that the allowance of 1200 riyal will be given to a family of six earning up to 8,699 riyals.

We came to know from the sources that this system was aimed to introduce in 2017 but due to some difficulties, this was delayed.  Authorities planned to spend about 20 to 25 billion riyals in 2017 which would rise up to 60 to 70 billion riyals in 2020.

Source: Arab News

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.