The Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan confirmed that the state's general budget for the fiscal year 2021 aims to continue spending on major projects, Kingdom's Vision 2030 realization programs. Besides, supporting the private sector through the National Development Fund and its funds. In addition to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to provide more jobs for citizens. Adding to encourage them to self-employment to enhance their incomes, and enable them to enjoy better quality services.
He thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense; on the occasion of the approval of the state's general budget.
During the press conference accompanied the announcement of the state's general budget 2021, Al-Jadaan indicated that the year 2020 was exceptional; as the government dealt with it professionally and harmoniously.
Al-Jadaan pointed out that the government has taken strict, swift and decisive decisions in harmony between government agencies to give priority to human health first. He expected that government expenditures will increase from the approved budget for this year 2020 to reach about SR1,068 billion. While the total expenditures are SR990bn in 2021.
At the level of sectors, the finance minister pointed out that spending on the municipal services sector is to increase by about 4.6% and the education sector is to increase by 1.4% by the end of 2020 comparing to the previous year. While spending on the military sector is to decrease by 5.9% for the same period. Operating expenses are about SR889 billion in 2021, comparing to SR931 billion in 2020.
Al-Jadaan emphasized that legislative reforms during the past years enabled the government to absorb the shock and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently.
He praised what was mentioned in the statement of the state's general budget for the year 2021, that the Kingdom enjoys a strong financial position given the large size of its reserves with relatively low government debts. Al-Jadaan pointed to the reports issued by international credit rating agencies; which confirmed the strength and durability of the Saudi economy. Besides, its ability to face the crises that the world is currently witnessing.
He spoke about the world's benefit from the Kingdom's leadership of the G20. Besides, its proactive support for research and medical supplies; indicating that the Kingdom was able to manage the energy crisis. And this was through the OPEC Group and OPEC Plus to restore energy market balance.
Al-Jadaan confirmed that the financial and economic initiatives taken by the Kingdom's government in previous years within the Kingdom's Vision 2030 programs contributed to reducing the effects of the pandemic on citizens and expatriates, and the local economy.
He added that the Kingdom is one of the top 10 countries dealing; with the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in the G20.
He expressed his optimism that the pace of growth will accelerate with the demise of the pandemic; especially after the adoption of the vaccine, and things return to normal. Therefore the Kingdom will be one of the G20 countries to recover from the pandemic.