By Arab News
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced the setting up of a national anti-graft body, while providing relief to government employees with a slew of orders.
In his national address on Friday he issued 18 Royal Decrees that included the setting up of a minimum wage of SR3,000 in government jobs.
Muhammad Abdullah Al-Sharif, a former Shoura Council member, has been appointed the chairman of the new commission to combat corruption. Al-Sharif told Arab News soon after his appointment that he “would exert every possible efforts to achieve the aims of the newly established body.”
He also thanked the king for the confidence vested in him and prayed to Allah to give him strength to carry out his duties.
Some of the royal decrees announced are:
• Immediate payment of two months salary to all government employees, both military and civil, as an ex-gratia payment to help people face the rising cost of living.
• Two months scholarship fees for all higher education students getting scholarship.
• Payment of SR2,000 as unemployment allowance monthly for all starting from next Hijra year.
• Minimum wage for Saudis in government jobs has been fixed at SR3,000.
• Allocation of SR250 billion to build 500,000 new houses throughout Kingdom and a steering committee comprising ministers of municipality and rural affairs, finance and economy and planning to supervise the projects.
• The real estate fund has been instructed to raise the minimum level of housing loans from SR300,000 to SR500,000.
• A national anti-corruption commission has been set up under a chairman with a status of a Cabinet minister. The first anti-graft czar will be Muhammad Abdullah Al-Sharif. The commission will report directly to the king.
• SR16 billion has been allocated to the health sector to enhance medical and health facilities throughout the Kingdom.
• Loans given by the Health Ministry to private hospitals have been raised from SR50 million to SR200 million.
• 60,000 new posts have been created in the Interior Ministry to boost internal security while also providing job opportunities for the youth. Widescale promotions were also announced for military personnel.