Saudi Arabia has been going through the worst phase of its history as far as financial situation is concerned. There is an expected budget deficit of around $87 billion and the main reason for this deficit is the reduction in oil prices. The prices of oil which were in the range of $115 per barrel in the summer of 2014 have been revolving within the range of $40 to $50 per barrel. Oil prices dipped in the mid-$20 range in the month of January 2016, hitting a 12 years low. However, I believe that Saudi government will make its way out of this financial crisis. The measures which have been taken so far by King Salman and its team show that the darker times are going to end very soon. Today we are going to share with you some measures taken by King Salman to counter current financial crisis in Saudi Arabia.
- The first step which has been taken by King Salman and his team is to reduce their reliance on the sale of oil. Right now, 90% of the Saudi budget is financed by the sale of oil. The Saudi government has started taking actions to diversify its sources of income by promoting tourism in Saudi Arabia. Recently, I have visited some hill stations and I was amazed to see so much natural beauty in Saudi Arabia. I was not expecting it at all. If they start promoting their beautiful places to the pilgrims and residents of Saudi Arabia, they would be able to earn so much money out of it. They can promote people to start tourism companies in Jeddah, Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah to provide packages to visit these beautiful places. Recommended: What are the benefits of converting Umrah Visa into Tourist Visa?
- King Salman has taken some austerity measures starting from the Ministers and government employees by reducing their salaries up to a certain percentage. In this way, King Salman has been setting a good example to reduce the burden of expenses from the government budget. In the beginning of 2016, Saudi government also reduced the subsidy they had been providing from a long time on petrol prices. Petrol prices increased by SR 0.30 and electricity prices have also been increased. Moreover, many projects which are not required at this point of time have been stopped to counter the current financial crisis. Recommended: King Salman cuts down salaries of all Govt. employees by up to 20%
- Saudi Arabia welcomes around 6.5 million Umrah pilgrims, 1.5 million Hajj pilgrims and around 1 million visitors to Saudi Arabia every year. The cost which these visitors had to pay for the visa was negligible. Saudi Government had been bearing the expenses from its own pocket to facilitate guests of Allah. However, now they have finally transferred a little bit of burden to the pilgrims and visitors by increasing the visa fee for Umrah, Hajj and Visit Visa. It will have a positive impact on the budget of Saudi Arabia. Recommended: Exit Re-Entry, Family Visit, Hajj, Umrah Visas Fee drastically increased
- Saudi Arabia has also issued $17.5 billion bonds in the international market during the month of October 2016. This is the highest issuance of bonds in terms of monetary value from an emerging market surpassing bond issuance of Argentina for an amount of $16.5 billion. The bonds issue was oversubscribed by 4 times ($67 billion) which shows a great trust of international financial institutions in the Saudi government.
- Saudi Arabia is also preparing to launch Initial Public Offer of Aramco in international stock markets. The Aramco is the world’s largest oil company. It is expected that Saudi government will issue only 5% shares in the IPO to raise $100 billion dollars. Just like bonds, the IPO of Saudi Aramco is also expected to be oversubscribed. It will value the Saudi Aramco at a value of $2 trillion making it the highest valued company in the world. The IPO is expected to be launched somewhere in 2018.
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- Saudi government allows Syrian people living on Visit Visa to Work in Saudi Arabia
- Royal Family gives a warm farewell to their Driver for 33 Years of Service
- Free Education for Yemeni Children in Saudi Public School