King Abdullah’s address announcing the State budget for FY 2009

December 22, 2008

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz address announcing the State budget for FY 2009 at the weekly Cabinet meeting, December 22, 2008

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, thanks to Allah Almighty, prayers and peace be upon Prophets and Messengers, my brother citizens, my sister female citizens, peace and blessings be upon you all.

With the grace of Allah Almighty, we would like to announce the budget of the new fiscal year 1430/1431 H, which amounts to SR 475 billion [$126.7 billion], with an increase of SR 65 billion [$17.3 billion] compared to the budget of the current fiscal year.

The new budget, despite the sharp decline in the petroleum prices during its preparation, will, God willing, enhance the development programs that lead to the growth of the national economy and the cementing of confidence in it, as well as making job opportunities available for all citizens.

We have issued our directives to carry out new programs and projects at a cost of more than SR 225 billion [$60 billion], an increase of 36 percent from the allocations in this current budget, and three times of what was approved at the beginning of the Eighth Development Plan, which began four years ago.

In the sector of general education and higher education, workforce training, sciences and technology, scientific research, and foreign scholarship programs, about SR 122 billion [$32.5 billion] have been allocated. This figure constitutes more than a quarter of the allocations of the new budget.

Complementary infrastructure projects have been approved, so as to create a suitable environment for education, and to increase the capacity of schools, universities and specialized colleges, notably the implementation of the project of Princess Noora bint Abdulrahman University, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and their affiliated branches.

In the sector of health services and social development, about SR 52 billion [$13.9 billion] have been allocated to increase the capacity of the hospitals, and improve the primary health care.

The budget also includes continuing support for programs tackling poverty, in addition to giving attention to youth and sports affairs.

Allocations for expenditures in the sectors of water, municipal services, agriculture, industry and basic installations amount to about SR 49 billion [$13.1 billion]. The budget includes new projects for the municipalities and additions to existing municipal projects, enhancing water resources, sewage services, environmental protection and safety of food and medicine.

In the transport and telecommunications sector, the allocations this year amounted to SR 19 billion [$5.1 billion]. Sums have been approved for the construction of new roads, and the completion and repair of several existing roads. These amounts constitute the highest allocations so far for roads. This sector also includes new projects for ports and airports.

We want all officials to remain keen on the follow-up of the projects included in the budget, so as to implement them in line with the fixed times, make the services required by the citizens available and accelerate the wheel of comprehensive development.

We thank Allah Almighty for enabling us to mobilize our potentialities for the promotion of the services extended to the dear sons of our homeland, and to attain prosperity and development.

We pray to Allah Almighty to perpetuate his bounties on all, and to benefit the country and the citizens from this budget.

Peace be upon you all.