Access to most online Saudi government services restored for many people in debt

Saudi Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani. (SPA)
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Updated 30 January 2020

Access to most online Saudi government services restored for many people in debt

  • Those who owe relatively small amounts will only be denied access to online financial transactions
  • But those who owe more than SR1 million must pay it back within 3 months or face jail

JEDDAH: People in Saudi Arabia with legal judgments against them for failing to pay money they owe, or failing to carry out a judicial order, will no longer automatically be denied access to all online government services.

However, anyone who owes more than SR1 million and fails to pay it back within three months will be jailed.

Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani said the changes mean that the suspension of e-government access will be limited to services that involve financial transactions. Previously, it also prevented people in debt from using other online government services, such as renewing a driving license, passport, car license or ID card.

Yousef Al-Husaiky, a lawyer in Jeddah, said that he was surprised by the decision to lift the suspension of e-government services for those in debt, because before it was introduced, creditors often faced a long wait before getting their money back.

“It was a big problem for creditors until the service suspension came,” he said. “It forced debtors to implement court orders.

“That was a key factor in helping creditors get their money back. Suspending the electronic services of debtors who failed to fulfill their obligations was a good decision and has helped many people (reclaim what they were owed). That law does not exist in any other judiciary system.”

However, he added that the ministry would not have changed the law unless there was a good reason to do so.

“I think the main reason behind the decision was the fact that the ministry does not want the family of a debtor to suffer,” he said.

“There will always be reviews of laws to make sure that the public is receiving fair and equal treatment. What is happening in the Ministry of Justice is a true revolution that aims to meet the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.”

However, some people fear that creditors will suffer as a result of the changes.

“The majority of people are simple and their debts rarely exceed one million,” said schoolteacher Salah Al-Zahrani. “That means debtors can now delay paying back creditors, which is the thing that puts the latter in trouble.”
 


Saudi Arabia announces 14 more deaths from COVID-19 

Updated 27 May 2020

Saudi Arabia announces 14 more deaths from COVID-19 

  • Saudi Arabia announced 14 more deaths from COVID-19 and 1,815 new cases
  • 739 were recorded in Riyadh, 325 in Jeddah and 162 in Makkah

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 14 more deaths from COVID-19 and 1,815 new cases of the disease on Wednesday. 

Of the new cases, 739 were recorded in Riyadh, 325 in Jeddah, 162 in Makkah, 118 in Hufof and 74 in Dammam. 

The health ministry also announced that 2,572 more patients had recovered from the coronavirus, bringing the total number of people who have recovered in the Kingdom to 51,022.

A total of 425 people have died from COVID-19 in the Kingdom so far.