Saudi Finance Minister Muhammad Al-Jadaan said that the Kingdom has used SAR 1 trillion from reserves.
He added during an interview with the Al-Arabiya channel that the Kingdom’s government does not want to increase the responsibilities of individuals and the business sector through the 2022 budget.
In a preliminary statement to the budget for the year 2022, the Ministry of Finance predicted that revenues would reach SAR 1.045 trillion, a 12.4% increase over what was forecast in 2021 due to rising oil prices and that expenditures would reach around SAR 955 billion.
The Saudi Ministry of Finance predicted that the Kingdom will have a surplus starting in 2022, of around SAR 90 billion, compared to a deficit of SAR 85 billion in 2021, and that the public debt would reach SAR 938 billion in 2022.
The Saudi Finance Minister indicated that following Aramco’s IPO, the categorization of budget income was revised, and a new budget technique was used that does not establish future oil price predictions.
“We do not expect dividends from the investment fund for the budget in the next years,” Al-Jadaan added, “since the budget got unusual distributions from the investment fund in 2020, which were not repeated in 2021.”
“All surpluses will go to the reserves in 2022, and then the transfer to the Public Investment Fund and the National Development Fund will be considered,” Saudi Finance Minister said. “There is currently no intention to transfer from the reserves to the funds, and they have sufficient liquidity to support their projects.”
“Except for borrowing, we withdrew SAR 1 trillion from the reserve in past deficit years, and we have the Public Debt Management Center that monitors the issue of public debt to independent agencies like the Public Investment Fund,” he stated. Some infrastructure projects may be financed using loans, whereas the King Salman Park project is funded from the general budget.”
The existence of collaboration with credit rating agencies, according to Al-Jadaan, was highlighted since the rating remained unaffected by the growth in public debt.
The Saudi Finance Minister stated that privatization is ongoing and would cover the education, health, and sports sectors.