Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning: Government is taking precautionary financial measures to face effects of the global epidemic (COVID-19)

Wednesday 1441/7/23 - 2020/03/18
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Riyadh, March 18, 2020, SPA -- Due to the economic and global conditions resulting from the consequences of the global epidemic (COVID-19), and the sharp decline in the outlook for global economic growth and its negative impact on oil markets, and its direct impact on public finances in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the government has taken measures to reduce the impact of low prices of oil, and additional measures will be taken to deal with the expected drop in prices.
The Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning, Mohammad Al-Jadaan, stated that the government worked on preliminary measures to ensure the provision of the financial requirements necessary to implement the preventive and direct measures to deal with the consequences of the epidemic and limit its spread to protect government installations and agencies and the continuity of their work, stressing that the government will provide all the additional appropriation required, and provide the necessary health services for prevention, treatment and spreading, while stressing the government's keenness on the priority of social spending, and reorienting government spending with the social and economic requirements of the phase.
Al-Jadaan also emphasized that in light of the noticeable development in the public finance management, and existence of the appropriate flexibility to take measures in the face of emergency shocks with a high level of efficiency, the government has approved a partial reduction in some items with the least social and economic impact, and the size of the partial reduction in those items has reached approximately 50 billion riyals (which represents less than 5% of the total expenditures approved in the budget for the year 2020).
He also affirmed the strength of the government's financial position, as it maintained huge government reserves and assets that enable it to deal with emerging challenges, and reduce the impact on its goals in maintaining financial sustainability and economic stability in the medium and long term.
In conclusion, the Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning, affirmed that, given the potential continuation or exacerbation of the effects of the spread of the virus and its consequences on the global economy, developments will be re-evaluated, items of expenditures will be reviewed, and appropriate decisions will be taken in a timely manner, and the government will also continue to raise the efficiency of financial and economic performance, enabling it to maintain the financial and economic gains that have been made during the past period.
23:51 LOCAL TIME 20:51 GMT