Participatory budget

This section focuses on the Kingdom's efforts to develop its economy through domestic and foreign investment opportunities, in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to empower investors through using unified platforms dedicated to facilitating investment operations and services for conduct of business. Furthermore, it provides Saudi market-related research options - taking into account risks of investment during Covid-19 - and regulations and legislations of investment agreements and conditions.

State general budget

The Ministry of Finance presents the State's annual budget  Ministry of Finance presents the State's annual budget and also prepares quarterly reports, citizen reports, performance reports, etc, which enhances transparency and allows everyone to access budget-related information. The State also provides access to government performance indicators and to budget of any ministry in particular through each ministry’s website.

Participation of community members in budget preparation

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by government agencies, has held a number of events in which public consultations are taken on reforms and development. Through these events, opinions and proposed solutions by various segments of society are captured, which are then studied, analyzed and reflected in reforms and strategic plans of the agency.

Budget cycle

Budget cycle

Preparation

Budget preparation phase starts from the end of December for previous fiscal year to January. From the beginning of February budget trends are determined. From mid-March, budget is subject to initial review and analysis until the end of April, then to be discussed and reviewed from May to the end of August. Budget preparation is subject to a number of laws, in particular adherence to the annual cycle and expected estimates in terms of revenues and general expenditure. The budget requires that revenues be equal to expenditure, taking into account scheduling and analysis of changes. The budget must also set expenditure limits and present a standard budget that includes all revenues and expenditures in a single general budget. Budget preparation requires financial and economic competencies with cognitive and technical skills, strategic leaders and thinkers, a deep understanding of policies and legislations, together with high financial analytical capabilities.

Approval

Approval of budget goes through three phases: From the first analysis during July, August and September, to the final approval between October and November and finally released in December.

Implementation

MOF has adopted four budget implementation paths:

Announcing budget to publish instructions.

Implementing budget through collection of its revenues, expenditures and provisions.

Expecting its quarterly performance.

Preparing the final account in which entities submit their accounts at the end of fiscal year.

Automation programs such as the digital platform (Etimad) ensure preparation and implementation of budget spending models, budget preparation and implementation system, business intelligence system, data governance and management enhancement program. Communication with government agencies will be through introductory workshops, budget forum, budget information plan and launch of supporting entities promotional roles. Etimad platform plays an important role in increasing transparency and cost-efficiency of its users, such as government and supervisory agencies, contractors, suppliers, traders and others.

2023 budget in brief

The Council of Ministers approved the State general budget for the fiscal year 1444-1445 A.H. (2023) with a total approved expenditure of SAR 1.114 billion, revenues estimated at approximately SAR 1.130 billion, and an estimated surplus of SAR 16 billion (0.4% of GDP).

2023 budget supports continuation of fiscal sustainability and pursuit of economic and structural reforms aimed at strengthening the Kingdom's financial position and enhancing economy's resilience and keeping pace with accelerating global changes. Moreover, it affirms its endeavor to continue implementing programs and projects that support growth, expand the economic base and achieve comprehensive development..

The budget reflects efforts made by the government and its success over the past years in achieving the key objective of financial reforms in their first phase, which was launched under the Fiscal Balance Program, which aimed at controlling high deficit rates to reach fiscal balance in the medium term. The second phase which was launched under the Fiscal Sustainability Program, which focuses on developing sustainable financial rules and indicators in the medium and long term through stable levels of spending, directed at strategic spending that supports structural change in the economy in order to achieve goals of Saudi Vision 2030، within a framework ensuring maintenance of appropriate levels of reserves and ensuring public debt sustainability.

Next year's budget aims, in the medium term, to continue implementing major projects and previously announced initiatives, such as programs of: National transformation, National Industrial Development and Logistics and Quality Of Life, Pilgrims Experience Program, Saudi Green Initiative and other programs, initiatives and projects that will bring about positive structural changes that will lead to expanding economic base and raising quality of life of citizens and residents as well as services provided thereto. The budget also aims to increase contribution of investment to GDP, strengthen investment environment and investor confidence in economy, provide investment enablers and incentives, and enhance transparency.

The Government will continue in its efforts to raise spending efficiency and financial control, as it aims to achieve comprehensive development at the regional and sectoral levels and develop promising sectors that contribute to achieving medium- and long-term economic and social returns, in addition to localizing military industries, while continuing in implementing programs and initiatives of social support and protection system, as initial estimates of 2023 refer to real DGP growth by 3.1%.

The economic and fiscal reforms that Saudi Arabia implemented continue to drive growth despite the challenges and crises that the world's economies face, which affect the future growth of the global economy and its future prospects, such as food crisis, inflation, supply chain disruption and geopolitical conditions. In addition, the government's proactive steps in mitigating economic and social impacts of such crises, as well as the economic and fiscal reform packages, which have been balancing between increased spending, fiscal stability and sustainability that support economic recovery, in addition to implementing strategic projects, increasing social protection programs and supporting strategic stocks of basic materials, while accelerating implementation of some programs and projects to advance the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Moreover, budget's projection for inflation will fall to 2.1% for 2023 and is expected to stay at normal levels in the medium term.

Moreover, the partnership between government agencies has contributed to conducting many reforms in state budget and raising quality of its implementation. In addition, the partnership with private sector enhanced opportunities for enabling it to be the main driver of economic growth and largest contributor to creating job opportunities for citizen.  

In addition, it is expected that public debt will reach SAR 951 billion (i.e. 24.6% of GDP) in 2023 compared to SAR 985 (i.e. 24.9% of GDP) in 2022, noting that it is expected to continue in local and external borrowing with the aim of refunding outstanding principal debt in 2023 in the medium term, exploiting opportunities available according to market conditions to proactively implement additional financing to pay the principal debt over next years and finance some strategic projects, in addition to exploiting market opportunities to implement alternative government financing with the aim of financing transformational spending on capital projects and infrastructure.

It is estimated that government reserves will reach about SAR 399 billion by the end of 2023 as a result of enhancing reserves with a portion of surpluses with the aim of maintaining safe levels of government reserves to enhance government’s financial position and its ability to handle external shocks.

Key financial targets in 2023

In this context, 2023 budget reflects advancement in implementing programs and projects that support economic growth and diversification, improve public services and enhance programs of social care and protection system, while maintaining gains realized in previous years on the side of public finance, as it is estimated that 2023 budget realized surplus by 0.2% of DGP, while forecasting continuation in realizing surplus in budget in the medium-term that enhances fiscal sustainability. It is worth mentioning that surplus amounts realized in budget will be directed to enhance government reserves and support national funds, while considering possibility of accelerating implementation of some strategic programs and projects that have economic and social dimension and paying a portion of public debt according to market conditions within the mechanism of dealing with financial surpluses according to Fiscal Sustainability Program.

Expenditures
As part of the Kingdom’s government work towards enhancing public finance and realizing development and economic goals, estimates of expenditure ceilings in the medium term are continuously reviewed and updated in accordance with results of financial reforms and economic developments. In view of increased non-oil revenues that the Kingdom’s economy is witnessing and its positive impact on the fiscal space, the expenditure ceilings were reviewed in the medium term to reflect increased structural revenues without affecting achievement of financial sustainability targets to enable accelerating implementation of regional and sectoral strategies.
The government makes progress in economic and structural reforms to enhance economic growth and financial sustainability by raising efficiency and effectiveness of spending and financial control, taking into account the economic conditions that the world is witnessing at all levels, as the government attaches great importance to social support and protection system to ensure and protect citizens from being affected by local and international repercussions. In addition, the government intends to continue in empowering private sector and stimulate the Kingdom’s investment environment, in addition to implementing mega projects and programs that realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals, which have economic and social dimensions and impact to increase contribution to increasing economic growth rates of the next year and in the medium-term. It is estimated that total expenditures will reach about SAR 1,114 billion in the next FY 2023, and that expenditure ceiling will reach about SAR 1,134 billion in 2025.


Sectoral Performance

It is expected that spending on municipal services sector will increase by the end of the current FY by about 58.8% to reach SAR 61 billion compared to the same period of the previous FY as a result of increased spending on projects of stations and networks of rainwater drainage and avoiding flood dangers and handling visual distortion in vital sites, in addition to developing, equipping and establishing parks, municipal squares and green spaces and increasing spending on service construction, including constructing squares, parks, railways and train stations. In addition, it should be noted that spending on military sector and general items increased by about 21.4% and 13.0% respectively, compared to FY 2021, while spending on infrastructure and transportation sector is expected to decrease by about 8.8% compared to the previous FY 2021.

Sector Key Indicators

Sector Actual 2021 Budget 2022 Estimates 2022 Annual Change* (Actual 2021 - Estimates 2022)
Public Administration 34 32 36 %4.0
Military 202 171 245 %21.4
Security and Administrative Regions 106 101 110 %3.0
Municipal Services 39 50 61 %58.8
Education 192 185 195 %1.8
Health and Social Development 197 138 198 %0.6
Economic Resources 71 54 75 %4.8
Infrastructure and Transportation 51 42 47 %-8.8
General Items 147 182 166 %13.0
Total 1.039 955 1.132 %9.0​

 

Expenditures by Sector
Below are the key programs and projects to which expenditures will be directed in each sector, whether to complete implementation or to implement new programs and projects:
Key Scopes in Transportation Sector
Sector’s provision in 2023 budget is SAR 34 billion
Key Projects Planned for FY 2023
Scope Objective
Transportation
Launching 12 platforms to enhance quality and competitiveness of logistics and raise efficiency of goods movement. Increasing freight capacity through railways to reach 12.8 million tons and 800 thousand EQUs to reduce the cost and duration of transportation, developing industrial sector, raising quality and safety, linking the Kingdom’s various cities and ports and decreasing carbon emissions. Decreasing carbon emissions resulting from land transportation methods through train movement by 36 thousand tons, which are environmentally friendly because of their contribution to reducing emissions. Creating jobs and developing human capabilities in railway transport sector at various job levels to reach 86%.


Housing Serving more than 120 thousand families to benefit from all housing options and solutions provided by Sakani Program.
Key Scopes in Education Sector
Sector’s provision in 2023 budget is SAR 189 billion
Key Projects Planned for FY 2023
Scope Objective
Education
Introducing the first national system for funding and supporting research and innovation titled (Institutional Funding Program), as support is provided based on research strategy and identity of the Saudi universities.


Launching (Study in Saudi Arabia) Platform to introduce the Kingdom’s efforts in the field of scholarships, unify admission process and accelerate procedures for non-Saudi students in all countries worldwide.


Allocating boarding schools to localize special education industry and create more than 3.6 thousand job opportunities.
Key Scopes in Municipal Service Sector
Sector’s provision in 2023 budget is SAR 63 billion

Key Projects Planned for FY 2023
Scope Objective


Municipal Services
Completing 3rd phase of Investment Infrastructure Development Strategy by establishing 5 new companies, as investment arms for municipalities, with the aim of enhancing benefit from municipal assets and improving quality of provided services.
Developing and updating local and regional schemes, preparing urban codes for 5 regions and 45 governorates and establishing design urban code studios in municipalities.
Finalizing preparation and development of the comprehensive strategic plan for paths of valleys and torrents within urban areas in all the Kingdom’s cities and governorates.
Key Scopes in Public Administration Sector
Sector’s provision in 2023 budget is SAR 37 billion
Key Projects Planned for FY 2023
Scope Objective

Justice
Organizing and holding annual judicial conference and launching “Real Estate Exchange” Platform for trading and registering real estate ownership with the aim of enhancing the Kingdom’s real estate market. Launching and activating objection to traffic violations in courts as part of issued and transformational strategic objectives in establishing principles and concepts of judiciary’s stability and independence in Saudi Arabia.
Launching Judicial Legislation Platform to enable all members of society, i.e. beneficiaries or specialists (judges and lawyers), to review judicial legislation and updates thereof from a reliable source in the Ministry of Justice.


Key Scopes in Health and Social Development Sector
Sector’s provision in 2023 budget is SAR 189 billion
Key Projects Planned for FY 2023

Scope Objective
Health Expanding virtual clinic services, as the number of beneficiaries reached 4.5 million by the end of Q2 2022. Operating the first 20 specialized clinics in medical rehabilitation services and integrating such clinics with "Mawid" System in the regions and clusters to facilitate access to service and improve quality of services. Adopting start of vaccination program with Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine within school stages (Grade 1 of Middle School), and training 3,347 female health instructors so far on health awareness of HPV, using approved outreach materials in 22 health directorates and clusters. Opening 13 smoking cessation clinics within Smoke Free Prisons Project in cooperation with the General Directorate of Prisons.


The rate of immunization against "COVID-19" virus has reached about 86% for first dose by 26 million doses, 81% for second dose by about 24 million doses and 40% for booster shots by 12 million doses. Activating dental services for healthcare patients and activating such services in 9 regions to serve 3,996 beneficiaries.
Key projects that will be a turning point for the Kingdom
NEOM Project is a future global center for trade, innovation and knowledge to enable leading companies to change the future of sectors, such as energy, transportation and other future sectors. In addition, NEOM Project extends in the northwest of the Kingdom and aspires to be a leading city in clean energy, a leading growth engine and an attractive place to live and work. Moreover, NEOM Project will achieve three main goals under the umbrella of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 outlined in achieving exceptional living and a flourishing business environment and reinventing sustainability concept. Furthermore, “The Line” Project was launched, which is considered a revolution in urban life, as it prioritizes human by giving people an ever-before urban living experience. The Line City will be 200 m wide, 170 km long and 500 m height AMSL.


Red Sea Project is considered the most ambitious luxury tourism and hospitality destination, and is being developed around one of the world’s hidden treasures in nature. In addition, Red Sea Project is one of mega projects that are fully owned by Public Investment Fund (PIF). It should be noted that Red Sea Project will introduce new standards in renewable tourism and sustainable development, and will create unique tourism experiences. The Project extends over an area of 28 thousand km2 and includes a number of historical cultural and heritage landmarks. This tourism destination will be powered by renewable energy, which make it the largest destination powered by off-grid renewable energy system worldwide. In addition, the Project will directly contribute to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals, as it works on highlighting the Kingdom’s abundant capabilities and creating new economic, cultural and social opportunities. Qiddiya Project:

It is one of PIF’s projects inspired by the Kingdom’s vision 2030, and it is the future capital of entertainment, sports, culture and arts, as it will become a unique global destination that offers innovative and overwhelming experiences in the fields of entertainment, sports, culture and arts, near the capital Riyadh. It will extend over an area of 367 million square meters designed around five components: Parks, tourist attractions, sports, transportation and movement, in addition to culture, arts, nature and environment. Qiddiya seeks to achieve dual economic and social objectives, which is to advance the Kingdom’s economic diversification.


Green Riyadh Project: Green Riyadh is one of the largest urban afforestation projects in the world. The Project aims to plant more than 7.5 million trees to raise per capita share of green space in Riyadh, from 1.7 m2 to 28 m2, an increase that is equivalent to 16 times. Moreover, the Project aims to increase total green spaces in Riyadh from 1.5% to 9%, which contributes to improving quality of life and raising sustainability and rank of Riyadh among its counterparts in the cities of the world. Green Riyadh Program (GRP) aims to elevate Riyadh’s urban environment by rehabilitating and afforesting main roads, developing Riyadh's new major parks and rehabilitating valleys and their tributaries. The planting that GRP is implementing covers 120 neighborhoods in Riyadh, including creating 3,331 new parks, planting trees, vicinity of mosques and schools and line car parks and constructing sidewalks to provide shaded walking routes that stimulate healthy movement modes among Riyadh’s residents and enhance accessibility between neighborhood’s elements and public transport network, which enhances social, sports, and picnic aspects for Riyadh’s residents. Moreover, GRP contributes to reducing temperatures by 1.5 to 2 °C across Riyadh, and by approximately 8 °C within the areas of intensive afforestation, in addition to improving air quality by decreasing carbon dioxide by 3% and 6%, increasing rate of oxygen and humidity, reducing dust in the air, contributing to decreasing energy consumption and increasing Riyadh’s ability to absorb and utilize rainwater and reduce its effects. In addition, GRP will contribute to recycling renewable water from treated wastewater to be used for irrigation purposes by 100% by establishing new networks in Riyadh.


King Salman Park Project: Project’s strategy was launched in 2019, and it aims to provide a vibrant experience for the residents of Riyadh by providing a variety of environmental, cultural, sports, artistic and entertainment options, which contribute to achieving one of the key goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by creating a vibrant society whose members enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and a setting that provides an opportunity for living in an attractive and happy environment. In addition, the Project aims to raise Riyadh’s ranking globally. The Project is located in a pivotal location in Riyadh, where park’s area exceeds 16 km2, making it the largest city park worldwide. Moreover, the Project offers a wide range of qualitative options and activities for Riyadh’s residents and visitors, as it includes extended green areas more than one million trees and open squares with an area of more than 11.6 km2, in addition to the Royal Art Complex, the National Theatre, a 7.2 km pedestrian circular path, Al-Wadi Area in the middle of the park and a group of water elements, landmarks and artistic icons. The Park will significantly contribute to increasing vegetation cover in the region and raising rate of per capita green spaces, which will have a direct and positive impact on the quality of environment and climate.

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Budget Performance Reports

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is the entity that is legally responsible for publishing quarterly financial performance reports of budget implementation, in addition to final annual account summaries in detailed annual reports of expenditures and revenues. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Budget Performance Reports 2017-2023 are available on the following links::

Important links

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