RIYADH, Sept 30 (KUNA) -- The Saudi Finance Ministry projected Friday that the Kingdom will spend about SAR 1,114 billion (approx. USD 297 billion) in 2023.
The preliminary budget, published by the Saudi Ministry of Finance today, also expected that the total revenues will be about SAR 1,123 billion (about USD 299).
It projected a surplus of about SAR 9 billion (nearly USD 2 billion), about 0.2 percent of the total GDP, in 2023.
The ministry stressed that it continues work to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of spending and fiscal control and to strengthen the Kingdom's fiscal position, through implementing economic and fiscal reforms to materialize goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.
It argued that the pre-budget statement for the fiscal year 2023 reflects progress in implementing programs and projects that support economic growth and diversification, improving public services, and enhancing programs for welfare and social protection systems.
Minister of Finance Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan pointed to the development of the public finance structure in the Kingdom over the past years, as the government success in achieving the main objective of fiscal reforms in its first phase within the Fiscal Balance Program, which aimed to control high rates of deficit to reach fiscal balance in the medium term.
The second phase of fiscal reform was launched under the name of the Fiscal Sustainability Program, which aims in the medium and long term to maintain sustainable fiscal indicators, through spending levels that are stable and directed to strategic spending that supports structural change in the economy to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and within a framework that ensures the maintenance of sustainable levels of public debt and government reserves.
He added that despite the fears and crises the world is witnessing and the accompanying challenges and their impact on the global economic slowdown affected by the increasing inflationary pressures resulting from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions that cast a negative shadow on global supply chains, the strength and durability of the Saudi economy enabled the Kingdom to confront these crises.
The decline in growth rates during the pandemic was limited compared to other countries in the world during 2020, followed by a positive growth of 3.2 percent during 2021, and high growth rates during the first half of 2022, which is the highest in more than ten years, with the expectation of continuing to achieve positive growth rates in various economic activities, as a reflection of many structural reforms and sectoral strategies within the Kingdom's Vision 2030.
He stressed that the government attaches great importance to enhancing the social support and protection system to protect citizens from local and global repercussions.
He explained that the remarkable and expected recovery in the Kingdom's economy and the continuation of the implementation of the initiatives and structural reforms during the past years will lead to an improvement in economic activity and ensure its sustainability in the medium term.
He added that that the recent positive credit rating agencies' assessments of the Kingdom's economy reflect the effectiveness of the economic reforms it has taken within the framework of the Fiscal Sustainability Program, which focuses on developing the medium-term fiscal planning process, with the aim of sustaining and stabilizing the public finance situation, while maintaining economic growth rates, by diversifying sources of revenue, raising the efficiency of government spending, and stimulating the growth of the private sector. (end)