HE Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, pointed out that the General Budget of the Kingdom for the New Financial Year 2018 is an affirmation of the Government's interest in continuing the process of development and the pursuit of the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 through the growing of the national economy and by focusing on diversifying the economic base and sources of income.
His Excellency added that the new budget confirms the ability of the Saudi economy to meet the economic and financial challenges ahead, stressing that it fulfills the ambitions of our country to maintain comprehensive and balanced development. The new budget is able to achieve appropriate economic growth rates while reducing
the burden on citizens and supporting the private sector. He drew attention to the reduction in the budget deficit for the current fiscal year by more than 25% compared to the previous fiscal year, despite the increase in spending and the expansion of the budget. The aim of next year will be to reduce the budget deficit to less than 8% of GDP.
Dr. Khaled pointed out that the new budget confirms the approach of our country to diversify sources of income, expand the economic base and increase spending on infrastructure development, which has ensured the country occupies a prominent economic position.
Dr Khaled praised the success of the government programs in reducing the dependence on oil to about 50 per cent while maintaining high rates of spending on the various development sectors in all regions of the Kingdom, which help to provide more employment opportunities for both male and female citizens, and raise the performance and development levels of public services.
He also praised the budget's measures to enhance the efficiency of spending and transparency in order to meet the expectations of citizens with regard to the services provided to them and to continue to fight corruption and waste.
He pointed to the budget’s allocation of large amounts of money to a number of sectors that affect citizens, including education, housing and health. He also mentioned the budget’s aim of encouraging and facilitating investment procedures, improving the level of government services and implementing privatization programs which will provide new opportunities for the growth of private investment, and thus generate more job opportunities for citizens and develop partnerships between public and private sectors.
HE pointed out that the new budget includes development initiatives aimed at achieving financial and economic stability, as outlined by the 2030 vision. Stimulating the main economic sectors will improve the basic services provided to citizens and develop infrastructure projects. He also outlined how the new budget underscores the determination of our wise government to establish a strong economic base that increases development rates and achieves record levels of progress.
He explained that the resources allocated by the budget to the education sector confirm the importance of education in achieving human development and producing citizens armed with science and knowledge who are able to keep up with the latest developments in science and technology.
Through this budget, the University hopes to develop its academic and research performance in order to implement its strategic vision in line with the Vision 2030. It aims to do this by applying a series of initiatives and programs that enhance the University’s leadership in the fields of energy, environment and water, provide its graduates with global skills, and expand the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In conclusion, HE prays to Almighty Allah to preserve the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and to preserve our country's security, stability and prosperity under the astute leadership of our wise government.