Saudi Cabinet approves VAT measure

King Salman chairing the Cabinet session at the Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 30 January 2017
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Saudi Cabinet approves VAT measure

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet approved on Monday the Unified Agreement for Value Added Tax, which will be implemented throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) starting next year.
In a session chaired by King Salman at the Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Cabinet gave its nod to the measure after deeming that the Kingdom is ready to implement it, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. 
The six-nation GCC is composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A five-percent levy will apply to certain goods following a GCC agreement last June.
The move is in line with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendation for Gulf states to impose revenue-raising measures including excise and value added taxes to help their adjustment to lower crude oil prices, which have slowed regional growth.
The GCC countries have already agreed to implement selective taxes on tobacco, and soft and energy drinks this year.
Regional residents had long enjoyed a tax-free and heavily subsidized existence.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, froze major building projects, cut cabinet ministers’ salaries and imposed a wage freeze on civil servants to cope with last year’s record deficit of $97 billion.
It also made unprecedented cuts to fuel and utilities subsidies.
The Kingdom is boosting non-oil revenue as part of economic diversification efforts and aims to balance its budget by 2020. (Additional input from AFP)


13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018. (SPA)
Updated 17 June 2019
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13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

  • More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018

RIYADH: The Ministry of Housing’s “Sakani” program has helped 13,230 families registered on its Real Estate Development Fund list with housing options and finance solutions during May.
This includes 5,835 families who live in their own homes, bringing the total number of families benefiting from the program in different regions of the Kingdom since the start of the year to 68,195.
The Sakani program announced the names of beneficiaries and their national ID numbers through the link https://sakani-names.housing.sa or via the program portal.
More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018.
Ministry of Housing spokesman Saif Al-Suwailem said that Sakani continues to provide its services to beneficiaries according to their needs and abilities. The ministry is keen to provide better services in line with the “Eskan” program, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives that aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership to 70 percent by 2030.
As part of Sakani’s efforts to provide suitable housing options, the program began to implement 53 new housing projects in different regions of the Kingdom, characterized by affordable prices for a large segment of citizens registered on the lists of the Ministry of Housing.
Al-Suwailem said that the ministry was keen to find solutions for Saudi families that help them to own the right home for them. SPA Riyadh