Saudi Arabia announces 120 billion riyals worth of measures to mitigate coronavirus impact

Saudi Arabia announced a 120-billion Saudi riyal worth of initiatives to implement urgent measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the Kingdom’s economic activities, including the private sector.

“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.

These initiatives include: the exemption from expat levy for those whose Iqama has expired from now until 30 June 2020, by extending their Iqama for a period of three months without charge; enabling employers to refund the fees of issued work visas that were not used during the ban on entry and exit, even if they were stamped in the passport, or extend them for a period of three months without charge; enabling employers to extend exit and re-entry visas that were not used during the ban on entry and exit from the Kingdom for a period of three months without charge.