Saudi Deputy Crown Prince outlines reforms plans

Deputy Crown Prince HH Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud has reportedly charted out a strategy to diversify and insulate the Kingdom's economy as oil prices tumble

Operations at King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh (KSA) will be privatised in 2016.
Operations at King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh (KSA) will be privatised in 2016.

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince, who has previously vouched for economic reforms in the Kingdom, has reportedly outlined strategies for the country to cope with low oil prices.

HH Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud met with senior officials, businessmen, and economists in the Kingdom, and presented reforms which could affect state funding and privatisation. 

The plans are expected to be made public within the next few weeks. 

The Deputy Crown Prince also chairs the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. 

HH Mohammed Bin Salman's reforms entail the country's Ministry of Finance funds only those projects which are approved by the Economic  Council, a new body created by King Salman. 

According to Arabian Business, some state bodies would be privatised to try to spur growth, create jobs and cut the financial burden on the public sector.

It was confirmed in November that operations at Riyadh's King Khaled International Airport will be privatised in 2016.

 The creation of non-profit organisations would also be encouraged to reduce the government's financial burden. 

Subsidies in the power and water sector will be restructured to ensure their benefits are accrued by middle- and lower-income sections of the Kingdom, instead of the wealthy. 

Citing Reuters, the report added taxes, such as a levy on tobacco imports, could also be increased to encourage the government's diversification away from oil. 

Saudi Arabia recently implemented a 2.5% levy on undeveloped land as a measure to spur affordable housing development in the country


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