Saudi 2011 budget biggest ever
KSA allocates largest ever budget, financing thousands of projects
Saudi Arabia has released details of its largest national budget ever, with plans to spend $154 billion in 2011 and invest $100 billion in education and infrastructure.
Saudi Arabia generated a gross domestic product (GDP) of $435bn in 2010, 16% higher than in 2009 which officials attributed to a 25% growth in the oil sector.
The budget for 2011 is $11 billion more than was allocated in 2010 and will see the construction of 610 new schools (in addition to the 3200 currently under construction and the 600 schools completed in 2010) and the rehabilitation of 2000 existing schools.
The budget includes $18.3bn for the construction of sports clubs, social centres and 12 new hospitals, adding to the 120 hospitals that are under construction at present.
KSA is also spending $6. 5billion on roads totalling 6600km (30,200km already under construction), while an additional $6.7 billion will be spend on building four new airports, developing the nation’s port services and rebuilding King Abdulaziz Inernational Airport in Jeddah.
The budget also allocates $13.5 billion for water projects, dams, sewage networks and other projects. The fund will cover the new water dealination and power plants at the industrial cities of Jubail, Yanbu, and Ras Azur.
In presenting the budget, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, said the focus had been to focus on balanced development and more employment opportunities and job creation. The budget, he said, attaches a particular importance to projects related to research and development (R&D) as well as science and technology projects for the e-government.