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Minister: 64% of Saudis applied for government aid plan

Saudi Labour Minister Ali Bin Nasser Al-Ghafis [Patnubay Online/Facebook]

Some 64 per cent of Saudis have applied for the cash credit programme known as the Citizen’s Account, programme General Manager Ali Rajhi said yesterday.

More than 3.7 million households applied for the benefits, representing 13 million people, Rajhi revealed.

The plan provides monthly cash payments from 21 December to compensate Saudis affected by measures including subsidy cuts and new taxes as part of austerity measures undertaken by the Kingdom as a result of a drop in oil global prices.

“The scheme will cover any future economic reforms,” Labour Minister Ali Bin Nasser Al-Ghafis told a press conference in Riyadh yesterday.

Rajhi said the amount of funds issued will be decided based on a case by case basis taking into account the number of family members, their income and age.

Read: Is Saudi’s Bin Salman tackling corruption or making money?

The programme is set to be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure it meets the needs of those receiving the funds, Saudi officials said. It is open to Saudi nationals who live in the Kingdom.

The government expects the programme to cost between $16-18.7 billion annually by 2020.

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