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Business & Economy

Fund to manage budget surpluses

The Shoura Council yesterday formally approved a proposal to set up a sovereign National Reserve Fund (NRF) under the supervision of the Supreme Economic Council.
The decision was taken at the 67th regular session of the consultative body, which was chaired by Shoura Council President Abdullah Al-Asheikh.
Speaking to the press, Deputy Speaker Fahad bin Mutad Al-Hamad said the proposal contained 18 articles that laid guidelines for the formation of a new regulatory and independent body to collect the state’s budget surpluses.
“The proposed fund will be used for the investment of surplus amounts from annual budgets for the betterment of future generations and offset possible budget deficits,” said Yousuf Al-Maimani, a member of the Shoura.
He said the fund would ensure professional investment of the surplus in different profitable projects. “The government will also be able to make use of this fund whenever there is a fall in oil prices.”
The Shoura members supported the proposal presented by Al-Maimani, Majed Al-Munif, Abdullah Abumilha and Abdullah Al-Abdul Qader, a former member.
Saudi Arabia’s budget surplus in 2011 amounted to SR 306 billion ($ 81.6 billion) against SR 108 billion ($ 28.8 billion) the previous year. Economists expect a budget surplus of not less than SR 12 billion ($3.2 billion) this year.
Meanwhile, in a report submitted by the council’s committee on housing, water and public services, the house insisted that the Ministry of Agriculture should find out the reasons for the decline in the production of broilers in the local poultry industry and take suitable measures to improve production.
On a proposal made by the committee on economic affairs and energy, the council agreed for the Kingdom to join the Istanbul-based Standardization and Metrology Institute of Islamic Countries.

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