The budget comes just a week after the government announced a SAR 72 billion stimulus package to be spent over the next few years.
According to Arab News, the King has announced that the expenditure would be an estimated SR978 billion for 2018. This marks the largest budget in the history of Saudi Arabia, the King said.
The 2018 budget shows that deficit is also expected to decrease to around SAR 195 billion. This would mark the fifth year of a budget deficit for the country.
Earlier today, the government said that it would push back the target for a balanced budget to 2023 from as early as 2019.
The King has also said that 12 programs have been launched within the framework of the Vision 2030 reform plan and that the Kingdom aims to further reduce its dependence on oil.
تعتبر #ميزانية_2018 أكبر ميزانية إنفاقية في تاريخ المملكة رغم تراجع أسعار النفط بواقع النصف عن السنوات الماضية، مع زيادة الإنفاق على الخدمات الأساسية المقدمة للمواطنين (صحة، تعليم، تنمية اجتماعية، بنية تحتية، نقل عام، إسكان، خدمات بلدية) pic.twitter.com/1X6FSBjnDT
— وزارة المالية السعودية (@MOFKSA) December 19, 2017
“Improving the living standard of citizens and diversifying the economy is our goal,” said Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. “We will achieve financial stability by stimulating the private sector to generate more jobs.”
He also stressed the fact that Vision 2030 has already started producing tangible results.
Revenues in the next fiscal year are expected to rise to SAR 783 billion, compared to the SR692 forecast for the current year.
2018 is expected to see the Kingdom sell a stake in state-run oil giant Aramco to help create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.