KSA alert to danger of ‘digital drugs’

Updated 03 November 2014

KSA alert to danger of ‘digital drugs’

Three government agencies have united to tackle what is known as “digital drugs” — a type of sound-based drug that has recently spread via audio files across the Internet.
The National Commission for Drug Control, the Directorate General for Drug Control, and the Communications Authority are exploring measures to prevent the arrival of these “sound drugs” to the Kingdom. Abdullah Al-Sharif, secretary-general of the National Commission for Drug Control, said: “The three parties have held urgent meetings to study this type of drug.”
The commission also commissioned consultants to study the possibility of this new drug being accessible in the Kingdom, and officials have confirmed that no cases have yet been recorded. The type of drug is not new and has been mostly used in America and Europe, he said.
Unlike substances that are eaten, inhaled or injected, this drug comes in the form of “sound tones”, and are typically used by those who have reached a severe level of addiction, explained Al-Sharif.
He said exposure to these sound tones lead users to loss of consciousness and awareness.
The National Committee for Drug Control has also been working in coordination with the Director-General of the Anti-Drug Commission, Ahmed Al-Zahrani, and the Telecommunications Commission to “curb the spread of this scourge,” confirmed Al-Sharif.


Saudi VAT revenues hit SR46.7bn in a year: Finance minister

Updated 12 min 26 sec ago

Saudi VAT revenues hit SR46.7bn in a year: Finance minister

  • Al-Jadaan announced the figures during the first edition of the General Authority for Zakat and Tax
  • Said Kingdom was working to reach a consensual solution for tax challenges

RIYADH: Saudi VAT revenues have hit SR46.7 billion ($12.45 billion), a significant increase on estimates for the fiscal year, according to the Kingdom’s finance minister.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan announced the figures during the first edition of the General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) conference and exhibition.

“The commitment rate came at 90 percent, exceeding all the expectations of GAZT and some international organizations that ranged between 60 and 70 percent,” he said.

“The conference comes as the Kingdom is witnessing an economic and social transformation under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to achieve a diverse economy and sustainable growth in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.

“The Kingdom’s fiscal policy aims to achieve a balance between the state’s financial and economic objectives. It seeks to maintain financial sustainability for the medium and long terms, which stimulates economic growth rates. This generates from our recognition that fiscal policies are one of the most important drivers of growth in the non-oil sector,” he added.

“The digital economy is rapidly advancing. We hope that modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchains will improve compliance with zakat and taxes, enrich the business sector, lower costs, promote tax transparency and develop e-commerce tax regulations.

“This conference will hopefully achieve a qualitative leap in the sectors of zakat and taxes by promoting cooperation and exchanging experiences.”

Al-Jadaan said that as the Kingdom prepared to host the next G20 summit, it was working to reach a consensual solution for tax challenges of the digital economy and contribute with other member states to stabilizing the global economy.