Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has rejected a proposal to impose fees on remittances of foreign workers following comments from the country’s finance ministry.
Saudi Gazette reports that the council refused to discuss the proposal brought forth by its finance committee with a vote of around 73 per cent opposed.
The former chief of the General Auditing Bureau Hussam Al-Anqari submitted the proposal, which included a 6 per cent remittance tax.
Shoura member major general Abdullah Al-Sadoun was quoted as saying the fees would promote expats doing business in the name of Saudis and increase illegal money laundering.
Another member, Sami Zaidan, said the fees would send the wrong message to expats, while Abdullah Al-Maneef asked what investment opportunities were available to foreign workers in the kingdom if they didn’t send money home, according to the publication.
The proposal was withdrawn following the majority opposition vote.
On Sunday, the country’s finance ministry tweeted it was “committed to the principle of free movement of capital in and out of the kingdom, in line with international standards.”
This followed news stories highlighting the upcoming Shoura debate last week.
Around a third of the kingdom’s 30 million population are foreigners.