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Saudi government 'fail to pay' $4.7bn phone bills

Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)

Saudi Arabia's government agencies owe Saudi Telecom Company (STC) nearly $4.7 billion in unpaid bills for services provided in 2017, Saudi Gazette reported yesterday.

The General Auditing Bureau (GAB) is seeking an explanation following the reports, while Saudi authorities are in the process of setting up a committee to "study" how to tackle the issue.

"The amount is 35.4 per cent more than that of the previous year," a GAB official said. STC is doubtful whether it will even receive at least 12 per cent of the owed bill.

Last year, STC wrote-off irretrievable bills worth some $36 million, 125 per cent more than the previous year.

The Finance Ministry was forced to introduce new measures last year to collect outstanding bills from government agencies, according to STC. According to Saudi Gazette, the Finance Ministry itself owes some $1.8 billion to STC.

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