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Saudi 2018 budget to focus on development

Saudi 2018 budget to focus on development

The budget has been described as one of expansion and development

Saudi Arabia’s 2018 budget, to be released on Tuesday, will focus on expansion, development and investment, but will not include new reforms or taxes, a senior Saudi finance ministry official said on Monday.

“If there was to be a title for the 2018 budget, it would be the budget of expansion and development and investment,” Saad al-Shahrani, general director of the ministry’s macro-fiscal policy unit, said in an interview on Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV.

“It will also focus on capital and investment expenditure. The citizen and the private sector will have a big part of it and it will simulate the private sector.”

Asked if the budget would involve additional reforms, he said previously announced plans contained all measures for 2018. “We do not expect new reforms or new taxes”.

In a separate statement, a finance ministry official told Saudi Press Agency the country’s fiscal deficit fell to 8.9 per cent of gross domestic product this year from 12.8 per cent in 2016.

Yarub Abdullah al-Thunayan, the ministry’s undersecretary for communication and information, was speaking before the formal release of 2017 fiscal data.

With contributions from Reuters

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