The Council of Ministers yesterday approved the formation of a commission to organize public transport between the Kingdom’s cities, Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said.
The new Public Transport Commission, based in Riyadh, will be an independent organization that would supervise public transport service and ensure its quality.
“It will also encourage investment in the sector in compliance with the objectives of economic and social developments in the Kingdom,” the minister said.
The commission will be responsible for implementing public transport plans across the country, ensuring the provision of sufficient finance from various funds to operate public transport and draw public transport route networks.
It will set out the specifications for public transport means, grant licenses and permits, propose a mechanism for organizing public transport fares and provide an appropriate environment for attracting investment in the sector.
The transport minister will be the chairman of the commission’s board of directors. The president of the commission, representatives from a number of government bodies and three representatives of the private sector are to be appointed by the Cabinet and will serve as members of the board.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah chaired the Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. The Cabinet congratulated the king for laying the foundation for the expansion of the Prophet's Mosque, which will increase the mosque’s capacity to more than two million worshippers.
The Cabinet conveyed appreciation for the king’s speech. The speech included valuable points related to the Islamic faith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the service to the two holy mosques. King Abdullah had appealed to all wise people of the world to deter anyone trying to offend the followers of religions and prophets.
Khoja said the Cabinet reviewed the readiness of government and private bodies for the upcoming Haj pilgrimage, the largest gathering of Muslims in the world. The king ordered that all efforts be exerted to provide the best services to pilgrims. He insisted on the importance of coordination and cooperation among the agencies concerned, as well as the spirit of teamwork to serve the guests of God and help them perform their religious duties as comfortably as possible.
Khoja added that the Cabinet reviewed a report on the activities of the Saudi delegation to the 79th session of the UN General Assembly, stressing the Kingdom's firm stance on various global issues put forth by Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdallah in his speech at the General Assembly.
The Cabinet approved an agreement with the Financial Control Center at the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia for cooperation in the field of exchange of financial intelligence regarding money laundering and terror financing, which was signed in the city of Yerevan on July 12 last year.
It endorsed a similar accord signed with the Intelligence and Combating Illegal Financial Networks Agency of France in the field of exchanging financial intelligence on money laundering and terror financing which was also signed in Yerevan on July 12 last year.
The Cabinet approved the Kingdom's accession to the Postal Payment Services Agreement signed in Geneva and authorized the foreign minister to sign the accession documents. It also approved an agreement with South Korea for cooperation in water resources, signed in Seoul on Oct. 28, 2010.
The Cabinet approved the appointment of Mohammed Al-Shammari as minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Nami bin Hamad Al-Nami as assistant undersecretary for services at Riyadh mayoralty; Jaber bin Yahya Hakami as head of the public notary office at the Ministry of Justice; and Khaled bin Mohammed Al-Baiti as media adviser at the Ministry of Culture and Information.