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Saudi National Transformation Plan to be revealed

Saudi National Transformation Plan to be revealed

A detailed outline of the kingdom’s economic reforms is expected to be revealed this week

Saudi officials will submit the country’s National Transformation Plan, aimed at economic diversification, to the cabinet for approval on Monday, according to reports.

The plan is expected to build on the Vision 2030 announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April and will include sector-by-sector details of the programme’s implementation.

Read: In depth: Saudi prince unveils plans to end “addiction” to oil

“The Council of Economic and Development Affairs has approved the final draft of the National Transformation Plan, which is one of the plans adopted and part of the 2030 vision, which was launched and adopted by the Saudi deputy crown prince, president of CEDA,” Reuters quoted a source as saying.

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is a new super committee of ministers charged with overseeing reforms.

The plan comes as the kingdom looks to diversify its heavily oil-dependent economy into other areas following recent budget pressures. Oil prices dropped to 12-year lows in February but have since increased 85 per cent to around $50 a barrel today.

Reforms are expected to include subsidy cuts, tax increases and the sale of state assets.

The Vision 2030 plans were described as “appropriately bold and far reaching” by the International Monetary Fund last month.

Daily news conferences disclosing the economic reforms will begin on Monday evening, a source told the newswire.

Key elements of the plans expected to be revealed include the partial privatisation of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and the transformation of the Public Investment Fund into the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

Senior ministers are also expected to deliver briefings on how their departments will implement the programme.

The country posted a $98bn budget deficit last year and is expected to post a deficit of 14 per cent of gross domestic product this year, according to the IMF.

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