Remittances tax plan backed by experts

Updated 07 June 2016

Remittances tax plan backed by experts

JEDDAH: Several financial experts believe that ways must be found to ensure expatriates spend more of their earnings in the country, which includes a tax on their remittances as proposed recently by the Shoura Council’s finance committee.
This was especially important considering the rise in remittances abroad, from SR154 billion in 2014 to SR157 billion at the end of last year, according to a press report on Monday.
Mohamed Adel Aqeel, a member of the Securities Commission, said the high volume of foreign remittances is normal, relative to the country’s gross domestic product and the number of expatriate workers, which now stands at about 10 million. The rise has also been a result of an increase in salaries. He said that better investment opportunities are needed for expatriates, especially since many of their forays in real estate and other sectors have not done well.
Essam Khalifa, a member of the Saudi Economic Association, said there was an urgent need to tackle cover-up business, which he estimates is costing the country about SR200 billion to SR300 billion a year. He said citizens are to blame for taking only a small amount of these profits and allowing expatriates to send the rest home.
He said that Saudis must start taking over the running of their businesses, which would also help to increase Saudization and wages for citizens. He said a tax on the remittances of expatriates should be considered.
Arab News reported last week that the Shoura Council’s finance committee is backing a proposed tax on the remittances of expatriates, starting from 6 percent in the first year and gradually reducing to 2 percent permanently from the fifth year onwards.


First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

Updated 32 min 3 sec ago

First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

RIYADH: The first plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Lebanon on Friday for victims of Beirut’s port explosion, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) said.

Two planes departed from King Khalid International Airport on Friday carrying more than 120 tons of medical supplies, tents, shelter kits and food for those affected by the blast. A specialized team from the center to follow up and supervise the distribution operations were also on board the planes.

The aid aims to help victims overcome the effects of the explosion, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief.

Al-Rabeeah stated that the directive of King Salman embodies the established humanitarian values of the Saudi leadership, stressing that this assistance highlights the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.