Saudi Arabia takes precautionary fiscal measures to tackle coronavirus

Saudi Arabia is taking precautionary financial measures to counter the effects of coronavirus in view of the economic consequences of the global epidemic, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported quoting Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

The Finance Minister said the government has taken measures to lessen the impact of low oil prices, and additional steps will be taken to deal with the expected drop in prices.

Al-Jadaan, who also serves as Minister of Economy and Planning, said that the government worked on ensuring 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, and also to protect government installations and agencies, ensuring the continuity of its work.

The minister stressed that the government will provide all the additional credits required, and the necessary health services for prevention, treatment and non-proliferation of coronavirus.

He reiterated the government’s keenness on prioritizing social spending, and reorienting government spending with emerging social and economic requirements.

Al-Jadaan said 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 percent 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 reserves and assets that enable it to deal with emerging challenges, and reduce the impact of such crises on its goals of maintaining financial sustainability and economic stability in the medium and long term.

Al-Jadaan confirmed that given the possibility of the continuation or exacerbation of the effects of the spread of the virus and its consequences on the global economy, the developments will be reassessed, items of expenditures reviewed and appropriate decisions taken in a timely manner.

The government will continue to raise the efficiency of financial and economic performance so that it can maintain the financial and economic gains that have been made till now, he added.