‘Citizen Account Program’ to help Saudis face economic changes

‘Citizen Account Program’ to help Saudis face economic changes
Updated 13 December 2017

‘Citizen Account Program’ to help Saudis face economic changes

‘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.

OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase

Updated 3 min 35 sec ago

OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase

OPEC+ compromises on oil supply increase
  • Members acknowledge the ‘extraordinary efforts’ of Saudi energy minister

DUBAI: The world’s biggest oil producers have reached a compromise agreement on the supply of crude oil for next year, in an attempt to ensure an ongoing recovery in markets that remain fragile as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a week of online deliberations, OPEC+, the alliance of producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed to increase output from January by only 500,000 barrels per day — significantly less than the 2 million barrels originally planned.
The new levels will be subject to monthly monitoring by OPEC+ ministers, chaired by Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, and could be increased or reduced according to market conditions.
Details of the compromise deal were agreed upon after long discussions among 23 producers, organized from the Vienna home of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The participants acknowledged the “perseverance, diligence and extraordinary efforts” of Prince Abdul Aziz in helping to combat the effects of the pandemic on global energy markets.
Some exporters had argued that the fragile demand for crude meant the full 2 million-barrel increase — as scheduled in the historic agreement last April that is credited with dragging oil prices back from decade-long lows — should be delayed for a further three months.
Others — most notably the UAE — took a more positive view of demand in the months ahead.
The compromise arrangement was hammered out against a background of rising oil prices after news of effective vaccines lifted economic prospects. Brent crude stood at close to $49 as the OPEC+ meeting closed.
Energy experts welcomed the deal. Robin Mills, chief executive of consultancy Qamar Energy, told Arab News: “The plan to make modest monthly increases makes sense. It does not overwhelm the market, gradually regains some market shares, and can be adjusted according to progress on vaccines.”