S Arabia announces $32bn to mitigate corona impact

Sun Desk

21 March, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Saudi Arabia on Friday announced measures exceeding 120 billion riyals ($31.93 billion) to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy, state TV said.

The package includes 50 billion riyals to support banks, financial institutions and small and medium enterprises. The package also includes other initiatives to support the economy exceeding 70 billion riyals.

 “The government is moving decisively to address the unprecedented effects and consequences of the coronavirus global pandemic crisis, and is taking immediate measures to ensure the safety of its citizens and residents, and to address its fiscal, financial and economic impact, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, the Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Economy and Planning, said in a statement.

The set of initiatives would particularly support the private sector, especially small and medium enterprises and economic activities most affected by the virus.

“The government has taken precautionary and strong measures to protect citizens and residents in the Kingdom, and to ensure the availability of immediate financial resources which will guarantee that all direct preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus and address this pandemic crisis' consequences, as well as protect government facilities and agencies and ensure the continuity of their work,” Al-Jadaan said.

The financial stimulus package of these initiatives reaches more than 70bn riyals, which consists of exemptions and postponement of some government dues to provide liquidity to the private sector thereby enabling them to manage continuity of their economic activities, Al-Jadaan added.

In addition, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has announced a package of 50bn riyals, to support the banking sector, financial institutions and SMEs.

The Saudi government was also postponing the collection of customs duties on imports for a period of thirty days against the submission of a bank guarantee, for the next three months and setting the necessary criteria for extending the postponement period for the most affected activities as needed.

Likewise, the payment of some government services fees and municipal fees due on private sector was postponed for a period of three months, as well as setting the necessary criteria to extend the postponement period for the most affected activities as needed.