2004 News Story

Crown Prince Abdullah speaks out on budget surplus

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in an interview with the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), has announced that SR 41 billion [U.S. $10.9 billion] of the surplus in the upcoming State Budget will be allocated for the welfare of citizens, while the major part of this surplus, which has arisen from unexpected oil price increases, will go towards settling the government's public debt.

About SR 30 billion [$8 billion] of the surplus will be appropriated over the next five years for expenditure on social and economic sectors such as water, sewage and flood discharge projects; highways and roads, both rural and urban; primary health care programs; housing projects; construction and rehabilitation of school buildings; and technical and technological education programs. About SR 9 billion [$2.4 billion] will go to augment the capital of the Real Estate Fund, and just under SR 3 billion [$ 800 million] will be appropriated for soft loans to finance small and medium privately-owned Saudi businesses, in order to assist young Saudis in accordance with the government's plans to diversify the economy and create more job opportunities.

In conclusion, Crown Prince Abdullah paid tribute to citizens who respect manual work, commenting that he expects people to give as well as receive.