Saudi Arabia announced a record SR690 billion ($184 billion) surplus budget on Monday and said it would continue its programs to achieve sustained and balanced development all over the country, giving top priority to education and manpower training.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who unveiled the budget during a special Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, said the budget was aimed at strengthening the Kingdom’s development and creating more jobs for Saudis.
The budget, which projected SR702 billion ($187.2 billion) in revenue, has allocated SR168 billion for education and manpower training, SR87 billion for health and social development, SR58 billion for water, industry, agriculture and infrastructure, SR35 billion for transport and communication and SR29 billion for municipal services.
“We have allocated SR265 billion for new development projects as well as to complete the existing projects,” King Abdullah said in an address to the nation, which was read out on his behalf by Abdul Rahman Al-Sadhan, secretary-general of the Cabinet.
King Abdullah said allocations have been made to establish 700 new schools, complete new university campuses and vocational and technical training projects, establish 17 new hospitals and build new sports cities and social care centers.
Referring to the welfare projects worth over $100 billion he had announced in March 2011, King Abdullah said the new budget would support those projects. “We hope these projects would improve the living condition of Saudis,” he added. The new projects included 500,000 new housing units valued at SR250 billion.