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Saudi Arabia

6,000-year-old relic handed to Saudi government

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH,) honors Mohammed bin Halil Al-Balawi of Tabuk for giving the relic to the commission. (SPA)

RIYADH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH,) received a rare archaeological piece dating to 6,000 years ago from Mohammed bin Halil Al-Balawi of Tabuk. Prince Sultan handed Al-Balawi a reward and a certificate of honor for giving the relic to the commission.
The body’s Board of Directors at the body’s headquarters in Riyadh received the artifact following the conclusion of a meeting on Tuesday, reported Saudi Press Agency.
SPA did not identify the artifact.
The Saudi law stipulates that archaeological pieces are the property of the state and citizens who find them are required to hand them over to the SCTH.
Prince Sultan said some honest citizens who find archaeological pieces make the common mistake of digging them out and then hand them over to the SCTH. It is a mistake because 50 percent of the relic’s story is in the place it was found, he said. He added that the correct way to leave the piece in its place and notify only the Antiquities Office that will handle it.
He said keeping found archaeological pieces is a crime punishable by law. He said the SCTH will launch an awareness campaign. He said the SCTH receives nearly 20,000 reports of kept or stolen artifacts.

Saudi Arabia launches new SR30bn export bank

Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih

DHAHRAN: Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih announced the launch of a new export bank with SR30 billion ($8 billion) in capital to boost the Kingdom’s exports, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Khalid Al-Falih said SR5 billion was allocated to the new bank as the first capital payment. Stressing the importance of government funding for industrial and mineral projects, he said the capital of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) was increased from SR500 million to SR65 billion this year.
His remarks came at the annual Iktifaa forum organized by Saudi Aramco, in the presence of Eastern Region Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif.
The forum is a platform to examine ways to streamline spending with a view to stimulating industrial and logistical development in the Kingdom and promoting national cadres.
In the next 10 years, Saudi Aramco will spend over SR1 trillion on its capital projects and operational purchases, Al-Falih said.


17 Saudi government agencies to create joint center for consumer rights


RIYADH: Seventeen government entities are working together on a joint call center and operations room to protect consumer rights, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment said. 
The plan is to protect consumers from any unjustified rise in the price of goods and potential commercial misdeeds in light of forthcoming economic reforms, the ministry added. 
A new app called “environment” will be launched to enlighten consumers about their rights and raise awareness about decisions regarding economic reforms, the ministry said.
The plan includes organizing workshops and rewarding field monitors.


Email and SMS qualify as judiciary notifications in Saudi Arabia


RIYADH: King Salman has issued a royal order to adopt electronic means, including text messages sent by mobile phone, email or a registered account in any of the government’s automated systems, in judiciary notifications.
Walid Al-Samaani, justice minister and president of the Supreme Council of Magistrates, said the order aimed to speed up the completion of cases and achieve the legal guarantees of the parties to cases. It would have a positive effect on judiciary rulings, he said.