Friday, March 1

Tag: Saudi economy

Saudi Arabia triples taxes, Cuts $26B in costs amid pandemic
MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia triples taxes, Cuts $26B in costs amid pandemic

Saudi Arabia announced today that it was tripling taxes on basic goods, raising them to 15%, and cutting spending on major projects by around $26 billion as it grapples with blows from the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices on its economy. Saudi citizens will also lose a bonus cost-of-living allowance that had been in place since 2018, according to the country's finance minister. Despite efforts to diversify the economy, the kingdom continues to rely heavily on oil for revenue. Brent crude now hovers around $30 a barrel, far below the range Saudi Arabia needs to balance its budget. The kingdom has also lost revenue from the suspension of Muslim pilgrimages to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, which were closed to visitors due to the virus. The new measures are the most dr...
Saudi Arabia Extended its business hours
MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia Extended its business hours

Saudi Arabia's Cabinet has approved a measure to allow shops to remain open for 24 hours, but the move stops short of explicitly peeling back the mandatory closure of stores during daily Muslim prayers. The decision, reported by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, only says that the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs will decide the fees shops would need to pay to remain open around the clock. The move could help local businesses boost their sales. Any decision to allow stores to remain open during prayer would likely stoke public backlash from conservative Saudis. Although the powers of the kingdom's morality police have been curbed under King Salman, they still monitor that shops close for the five daily prayers, though that enforcement has become lax in some neighbourhoods....