Saudi Arabia passes 2018 budget with historic expenditure of $260.8 bn

Riyadh: The Saudi Arabian cabinet on Tuesday passed the 2018 state budget with a historic expenditure of $260.8 billion and expected a reduction in the deficit to below 8 percent of the GDP.

The expenditure would increase by 5.6 percent compared to the current year, while the revenues would be $208.8 billion with an increase by 12.5 percent from 2017, including $77.9 billion non-oil revenues, Xinhua news agency reported.

The deficit is expected to be $52 billion with a reduction by 15 percent compared to the current year. Saudi Arabia is also looking forward to generating $22.6 billion from taxes to be introduced early next year on goods and services.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the government reduced its dependency on oil revenues by half and the association of the development and investment funds in capital and investment expenditures increased by 13 percent.

The government decided to continue with development projects and reduction of the public debt by 30 percent.