2004 News Story

Cabinet: mideast, Iraq, Malaysia, electricity and SWCC

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and briefed the Cabinet on talks held by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz and himself with heads of state and their envoys, including visiting Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdullah Ahmed Badawi, on the latest international developments, particularly the Palestinian issue and the situation in Iraq. The Cabinet again called for sincere international efforts to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people and halt Israel’s arbitrary decisions; and expressed the hope that the handing over of authority in Iraq will lead to the restoration of stability in all areas, security, economic, and political, so that Iraq can resume its role as an effective member of the international community at Arab, Islamic and international levels.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including endorsement of several amendments to the regulations governing the service of electricity. Upon the recommendations of the Minister of Water and Electricity, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Cabinet has inserted the following amendments:

  1. The name of the Authority shall be ‘Electricity and Dual Production Organizing
  2. The Authority shall report directly to the Minister of Water and Electricity and enjoy an independent character, both financially and administratively.
  3. The preface of the item ‘Thirdly’ of the regulations shall be amended as follows: “The Authority has the aim of guaranteeing the provision of electricity and dual production projects at efficient, highly credible and moderately-priced levels. Within the general policies and plans of electricity, the Authority undertakes organizing the sector of electricity and dual production projects and suggests their regulations …… .”
  4. The Authority shall conduct periodical scientific and technical reviews of the cost of electricity service and dual production projects and their tariffs.
  5. The Authority shall protect the interests and rights of dual production projects as well as those of power users, producers, providers, distributors and investors in this sector.
  6. The Authority shall, in cooperation with the Ministry, work to achieve organized expansion of the infrastructure of electricity service and dual production projects and make them available to consumers at appropriate and reasonable prices and in good quality in all parts of the Kingdom.
  7. The Authority shall have the right to consider disputes and claims relating to the sector of electricity and dual production projects that are raised by concerned parties, providers of the service as well as consumers.
  8. The Authority shall set up a unified accounting system that is obligatory for all service providers in the field of electricity and dual production projects according to which the information necessary to determine service costs and fix tariffs can be worked out.
  9. The Authority shall have a board of directors of 12 members, in addition to the Minister as Chairman.

The Cabinet also passed resolutions approving a draft bill on patents covering blueprints for integrated circuits, plant species and industrial samples; approving a draft cooperation agreement with the Government of the Republic of Poland in the areas of economics, commerce, investment, technology, culture, tourism and youth; authorizing the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance or his deputy to discuss a draft memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Yemen in the field of Islamic affairs and endowments; and endorsing the agreement concluded with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on the mutual encouragement and protection of investments.