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Saudi Arabia

‘Citizen Account Program’ to help Saudis face economic changes

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced the details of the Citizen Account Program to help low- and middle-income families cope with the changes happening as a result of the coming economic reforms.

The Citizen Account Program is a national program created to protect Saudi households from expected direct and indirect impacts of the various economic reforms. The support is offered through direct cash transfers to beneficiaries.

With a view to reorienting government benefits to a deserving population segment in a manner that promotes and ensures rational consumption, the main aims of this program are to improve the level of services provided to citizens; raise the efficiency of government spending and operation; and target deserving citizens more transparently and effectively.

The support compensates for the increase in prices as a result of the correction in electricity and gasoline prices, and the application of VAT on food and beverage commodities.

These allowances will be reviewed every three months to ensure that the amount of the benefit meets the requirements of the households according to the changes.

The program’s policies stipulate that the beneficiary should be a Saudi citizen, that the beneficiary is not residing in any of the government shelters or prisons, and that the data given on the registration form should be consistent with that of the relevant authorities.

According to the general manager of the Citizen Account Program, Ali Rajehi, the amount of the supporting allowance is based on the composition of the family and the number of members, age of the dependents, and the family’s income.

The amount of support to beneficiaries will vary according to the changing economic conditions of the household. There are some factors that will affect the amount of support, such as the change in world oil prices and their impact on locally applied prices.

According to Minister of Labor Ali bin Nasser Ghafis, there are more than 13 million beneficiaries registered in the Citizen Account. The first deposit to the citizens’ accounts will be made starting December 21, 2017, and will be accompanied by the announcement of the amounts and other details.

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