Saudi Arabia to launch program to combat commercial cover-ups

Updated 06 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia to launch program to combat commercial cover-ups

  • Commercial cover-ups involve non-Saudis owning businesses or working while hiding behind Saudi names

JEDDAH: Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, Saudi minister of commerce and investment, on Wednesday said his ministry will launch a national program to combat commercial cover-ups next week. 

Commercial cover-ups involve non-Saudis owning businesses or working while hiding behind Saudi names. Ten government entities will collaborate with the ministry to implement the program, said Al-Qassabi. 

The entities include the General Investment Authority, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, and the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at).

Salman Al-Hajjar, adviser to the minister of trade and investment, said the program will combat commercial cover-ups by “implementing technical solutions, opening bank accounts for establishments” and “automating all services and payment channels.” 

Regulations will be reviewed to assess their suitability in light of economic developments in the country, which may result in increasing penalties for perpetrators of commercial cover-ups, he added.

The program will also focus on raising public awareness about the economic and social harm caused by commercial cover-ups. 

In that regard, Al-Hajjar said Saudi citizens will play an essential role by reporting such practices. 

“This phenomenon (commercial cover-ups) is done in secret. It isn’t documented … which requires considerable investigation and unified efforts to prove. The citizen has the main role in revealing those violations,” he added.


Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 19 April 2019
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Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.