Saudi Arabia Budget for the fiscal year 2008 is going to be remembered as the largest budget of Saudi Arabia ever placed. It is an all encompassing budget which emphasizes on infrastructure building, development of R&D projects, provision of public amenities, education for all and many more. This article would try to give an overall idea about this budget.
Saudi Arabia Budget, 2008 is the largest ever budget placed before the Council Of Ministers in the entire history of Saudi Arabia. It is earmarked by an expenditure amount of SR 410 billion and revenue earnings of SR 450 billion.
This budget was formulated in accordance with the guidelines of the 8th Development Plan of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Budget, 2008 – Basic Objectives:
Provision of better education to the children
Up-gradation of basic infrastructural facilities like road, sewerages, electronic communication services and many more.
Extension of additional assistance to scientific research as per the guidelines of Strategic Plan for Science & Technology.
Downsizing the total amount of Public Debt.
Saudi Arabia Budget, 2008 – Priorities, Allocations and Programs
Education : Education is given utmost priority in this budget. A total fund of SR 105 billion is allocated for upgrading the standard of education. This fund would be spent over the entire 2008 fiscal for increasing total capacity and number of schools (6426), colleges (41) and universities.
A part of the fund would also be expended towards job training programs under General Organization for Technical and Vocational Training.
Health & Social Welfare Services :
A fund of SR 44.4 is allocated to upgrade the level of health care and social welfare services in Saudi Arabia.
In the health care front, capacity of the existing hospitals would be expanded along with setting up of hospitals (87) and health care centers (250) during 2008 fiscal.
Allocated fund would also be utilized to develop the health information system of the country.
Funds are also allocated for providing better social welfare services to the general mass of Saudi Arabia. Some of the projects for which funds are allocated comprise of :
Public Housing Authority
National Charity Fund
Programs for alleviating poverty
Projects for helping orphans and disabled person
Projects for establishing recreational clubs, rehabilitation centers, labor security offices and many more
Communication, Transport and Roads :
This field has received funds amounting to SR 16.4 billion. A master-plan has already been chalked out for increasing the total length of roads by 7,300 Kms. Funds are also allocated for upgrading airports, ports and railways.
Saudi Arabia Budget, 2008 has allocated SR 17 billion for municipalities for improving minimum public amenities. This fund is planned to be utilized for :
Constructing bridges as well as tunnels at the junctions of busy streets and roads.
Improving drainage system.
Upgrading sea coasts.
Different Sectors of the Economy :
All the sectors of the economy received an aggregate amount of SR 28.5 billion under budget 2008. Some of the proposed projects under this head are:-
Construction of new industrial townships along with power transmission as well as distribution centers, ports, telecom facilities, and many more.
Provision of clean drinking water.
Construction of dams for improving infrastructure of agriculture.
Allocations in the Saudi Arabia Budget, 2008 is done to meet the needs of all the sectors of the economy. Special emphasis is given to education and health care services by rolling out many social welfare programs. Infrastructure building is given due importance in this budget for creating congenial atmosphere for industrial as well as service sector development.