King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session (12/26/11)
December 26, 2011
During a meeting chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today, the Cabinet approved the Kingdom’s state budget for Fiscal Year 1433/1434 H. (FY 2012). After the budget was discussed and accepted by the ministers, Secretary General of the Cabinet Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Sadhan delivered a speech on behalf of King Abdullah.
In his remarks, the King confirmed his government’s commitment to promoting development through large-scale projects, investing in education and raising the Saudi standard of living. According to the new budget, total revenues are projected to reach $187.2 billion next year and government expenditures will equal $184 billion, leaving a $3.2 billion surplus. Summarizing the numbers according to sector, the King reported that $45 billion will be spent on education and training, $23.1 billion on health and social affairs, and $7.8 billion on municipality services. Finally, King Abdullah urged the ministers to work hard to implement the new budget.
Then, Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf made a brief presentation in which he reviewed both domestic and global economic developments. Reporting on the outcome of FY 1432/1433 (FY 2011), Dr. Al-Assaf said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to reach $576.8 billion, an increase of 28 percent over 2010. The private sector grew by 14.3 percent in 2011, while the petroleum sector grew by 40.9 percent, he added.
After concluding the budget discussion, the Cabinet addressed a number of other issues relating to domestic affairs. King Abdullah welcomed the newly appointed Cabinet members, wishing them success, and thanking former ministers for fulfilling their duties.
He also praised the outcome of the 32nd session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Supreme Council, which was held in Riyadh last Monday. The King expressed thanks to the GCC leaders for welcoming a proposal he presented calling for the GCC to move from the cooperation phase to the phase of union into one entity.