Saudi denies plans to impose taxes on citizens

Riyadh: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan on Thursday denied any plan to impose taxes on citizens, residents or local firms, Al Ekhbariya local TV reported.

He assured that citizens and the private sector won’t be surprised from now until 2020 of anything that contradicts with what will be announced in the state budgets.

The assurance was made by the minister while describing the general aspects of the state budget of 2017 that was passed by the cabinet on Thursday with fewer deficits by 33 percent compared with the deficit of 2016.

He revealed that over the last ten years, Saudi Arabia succeeded this year of spending less than the estimated expenditure budget and achieved unexceptional non-oil revenues. He attributed the achievements to government cost-cutting policy and more focus on economic projects.

According to Al Arabiya local news, Saudi Arabia succeeded in doubling its non-oil revenues to $53.3 billion in 2016.

Meanwhile, to ease the financial burdens on citizens as results of the financial reforms to be less dependent on oil revenues, the government announced financial compensations that could reach 100 percent for Saudis for any decision to stop various government services.

The 2017 budget allocated an amount of $6.6 billion for compensations that might be given next year, while the amount will increase to $15.9 billion by 2020.