Saudi Finance Ministry says no to fees on foreign workers' remittances

Finance Minister Mohammed Mohammed Al-Jadaan. (SPA)
Updated 22 January 2017
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Saudi Finance Ministry says no to fees on foreign workers' remittances

RIYADH: The Saudi finance ministry said on Sunday there would be no fees applied on remittances out of the country, days after the kingdom's advisory Shoura Council said it was looking at a proposal to impose a 6 percent levy on expatriate remittances. 
Saudi Arabia is "committed to the principle of free movement of capital in and out of the kingdom, in line with international standards," the ministry said on its official Twitter account.
Around a third of Saudi Arabia's 30 million inhabitants are foreigners, many of them attracted by the absence of tax and higher pay than they can get at home.
But the country has been facing a budget squeeze from low oil prices and announced reform plans last year, which included a proposal to impose income tax on foreign workers.
Proposals endorsed by the Shoura Council are not always adopted and the kingdom's central bank governor and finance minister said in the autumn that there were no plans to tax remittances or income.
The country has already introduced a range of new fees to help close a budget gap created by low oil prices.
For example, the government has raised the cost of visas and introduced gradually rising monthly fees on expatriate workers and their dependents.  


Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

Updated 20 February 2019
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Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

  • Mohammed bin Salman says value of investments to increase rapidly over next two years
  • Modi praised relations between the two countries after signing cooperation agreements

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he expects Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will be worth $100 billion in the next two years.

During a press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said the Kingdom had invested $10 billion in technology and small companies in India which had “achieved very remarkable returns.”

Speaking on the second day of hist India visit, and after the signing of five agreements with Modi, the crown prince also said that there were many opportunities for India in Saudi Arabia.

“We expect that the opportunity we are developing in India in many fields will exceed 100 billion dollars over the next two years,” Prince Mohammed said. “We want to work as two governments to ensure these investments and achieve beneficial returns for both countries. 

“We also hope that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India will contribute to providing more opportunities for Indian laborers and manpower to contribute to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building the Kingdom's Vision 2030.”

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The crown prince spoke of the depth and history of relations between the two countries, acknowledging the role Indian labor and businesses had played in the Kingdom’s development.

He also said the economic partnerships were grounded in the two nation’s similar challenges - “extremism, terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean.”

He said Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in 2016 had achieved investments worth $44 billion in refining and petrochemicals.

The two countries planned to expand India’s oil storage capacity to make India an “important regional center in distributing oil and its products.”

"As a neighbor who guarantees suppying us with energy needs, the Kingdom is considered India's most important partner," Modi said. "We have enhanced our relations through establishing a strategic partnership."

The crown prince and Modi earlier oversaw the signing of agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, housing and information and broadcasting.

It was also announced that the Kingdom would join the International Solar Alliance, a group of countries focussed on improving solar technology.

Prince Mohammed then met a number of CEOs from India's leading businesses.

The crown prince arrived in India after a two-day trip to Pakistan as part of a tour of Asia.

Earlier he attended a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi after landing in the country on Tuesday evening.