Saudi Arabia’s 2016 Budget Reflects Pinch From Lower Oil Revenues
By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Monday announced a national budget plan of SR840 billion for 2016, with a view to reducing the deficit and a drive to raise revenues from sources other than oil.
In a Cabinet session, King Salman said the budget is “based on solid foundations with multiple sources of income.”
“Our economy has all that it needs to face the current economic challenges, the priority will be for the completion of projects in previous budgets,” he said.
Next year’s budget projects is down from SR975 billion spent this year. The original budget plan for 2015 projected spending of SR860 billion.
The 2016 budget plan aims to cut deficit to SR326 billion, lower than the deficit of SR367 billion ($97.9 billion) in 2015, the Council of Economic and Development Affairs said.
Cutting the deficit is meant to reduce pressure on the government to pay its bills by liquidating assets held abroad.
Revenues next year are forecast at SR514 billion, down from revenues of SR608 billion in 2015.
This year’s original budget plan envisaged SR715 billion of revenues.
The budget comes in the wake of the decline in the growth of the global economy, and in the absence of the stability of some neighboring countries.