The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has approved a package of additional initiatives including support, exemption, and expediting payment of private sector dues as an extension of continuing efforts of the Government to deal with impacts and consequences of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and take all measures to confront financial and economic impacts on the private sector and economic activities which have been most affected by repercussions of the pandemic.
On this occasion, Minister of Finance, Acting Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, expressed his thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his approval of the additional initiatives, stressing that the government has taken a number of additional precautionary measures aiming to provide cash to the private sector that can be used to manage its economic activities, work continuously to study the effects and repercussions of the Coronavirus crisis and its challenges in a number of sectors and regions, and study opportunities to address them whether with support or stimulus or others.
He pointed out that the additional initiatives prepared by the government included support, exemptions and expediting the payment of the dues of the private sector, which come as an extension of the announced initiatives to support the private sector, especially small and medium enterprises and economic activities most affected by the consequences of this pandemic, which exceeded SR 70 billion, such as exemptions and postponement of some government dues, and the government bears through the Sanid system 60% of the salaries of Saudi private sector employees with a total value of SR 9 billion, in addition to the support program announced by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to banks, financial institutions, and small and medium-sized enterprises with an amount of SR 50 billion at the current stage.
The Minister stated that the additional initiatives were as follows:
First: Allocating an amount of 50 billion riyals to expedite the payment of the dues of the private sector.
Second: Providing a discount 30% of the value of the electricity bill for consumers in commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors for a period of two months (April - May), with the possibility of extension in need.
Third: Optionally allowing subscribers in the industrial and commercial sector to pay 50% of the value of the monthly electricity bill for the months' bills (April, May, and June), provided that the remaining dues shall be collected in divided installments for a period of six months starting from January 2021 AD with the possibility of postponing the payment period in need.
Fourth: Supporting individuals working directly, who are not under the umbrella of any company and registered with Public Transport Authority, in the activities of passenger transport and were stopped due to precautionary measures of the Coronavirus, by paying an amount of the minimum amount of salaries to them.
Fifth: The rapid activation of Cabinet decision No. (649) dated 13 Dhul Qi'dah 1440 AH, which requires that companies in which the State owns more than (51%) of its capital, to take into account the general principles and rules for offering business and purchases and give preference to local content and small and medium enterprises, which will increase the economic movement in the local market and direct demand towards local products and services.
Minister Al-Jadaan assured that additional funds were allocated to the health sector as needed, as the amount of support for the health sector reached additional 47 billion riyals in order to raise the health sector's readiness, secure medicines, operate additional beds, and provide necessary medical supplies such as artificial respirators and devices and supplies of laboratory tests, as well as to secure the necessary medical and technical cadres from inside and abroad.