mcloudy.png
Wednesday July 8th, 2020 6:30PM

Saudi king prioritizes economic reforms for coming year

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi King Salman delivered a speech on Wednesday outlining his government's priorities for the coming year, urging citizens to support economic reforms and the government's anti-corruption drive.

In early November, the king's son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, oversaw the unprecedented arrest of top princes, businessmen and officials allegedly involved in corruption. Many have agreed to pay undisclosed sums in exchange for their release.

"We are determined to confront corruption fairly and firmly," the king said.

The king, 81, delivered his annual 7-minute-long speech before the consultative Shura Council. Also in attendance were the crown prince and Saudi Arabia's top cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al Sheik.

The crown prince, backed by his father, has pushed through a number of dramatic social reforms this year, including a decision to allow women to drive next year, lifting a ban on movie theaters and granting girls access to physical education and sports in public schools. These are all moves that had been criticized in the past by the grand mufti and other ultraconservative Saudi clerics.

King Salman emphasized in his speech that Saudi Arabia will not contradict the principles of its faith as it "moves forward on the path of development and modernization."

His speech comes as the country prepares to distribute cash assistance to low-income families as part of a new welfare system ahead of more subsidy cuts to drive down government costs in the face of sustained lower oil prices.

Ali Rajhi, general manager of the welfare program called "Citizen's Account," said in a press conference aired on Saudi TV that more than 3.7 million families had applied for assistance, representing more than 13 million people — or more than half the Saudi population. He said not all would qualify.

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya reports that a family of six with a monthly of income of around $2,300 would receive a monthly payout of around $320 under the scheme.

The first payments will be made Dec. 21 before the government raises prices on electricity, fuel and gas.

The kingdom previously lifted subsidies on electricity and fuel in late 2015, implemented a sin tax on tobacco and soft drinks this year and is introducing a 5 percent value added tax in January on most consumer goods, like food, and services.

On foreign policy, King Salman reiterated the kingdom's stated commitment to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"I repeat the kingdom's condemnation and strong regret over the U.S. decision on Jerusalem for its relinquishment of the historic rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem," he added.

He also made a veiled reference to rival, Iran, without naming the Shiite power, saying the country is working to counter interference in the affairs of Gulf Arab countries.

___

Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset
Democrat Doug Jones has won a stunning victory in Alabama's Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump
7:59AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Greek court backs extraditing Russian bitcoin suspect to US
Greece's Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a request to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik to the United States to stand trial for allegedly laundering billions of dollars using the virtual currency bitcoin
7:55AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Saudi king prioritizes economic reforms for coming year
Saudi King Salman delivers annual speech outlining government's priorities for coming year, focusing on economy and emphasizing anti-corruption crackdown
7:52AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Democrat Doug Jones stuns Roy Moore in Alabama Senate election; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gets fight she wants after Trump's provocative tweet; Minnesota governor set to name Franken's Senate replacement
6:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
SAG Awards could give Oscar race some clarity
An unpredictable awards season will get a jolt Wednesday with the Screen Actors Guild announces nominees to its annual awards
3:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Among 10 Things to Know: Democrat Doug Jones beats Roy Moore in Alabama Senate election; Trump says female senator 'would do anything' for money; Tillerson softens US stance on possible talks with North Korea
11:04PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
LA police probe claim Roman Polanski molested girl in '75
Los Angeles police are investigating allegations Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski molested a 10-year-old girl in 1975
6:23PM ( 13 hours ago )
Stormtroopers and princes on London's 'Last Jedi' red carpet
Prince William and Prince Harry have joined the cast of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at the film's European premiere, delighting fans who braved the London cold for a glimpse of Hollywood stars and British royalty
5:57PM ( 14 hours ago )
Death certificate says Charles Manson died of heart failure
Charles Manson died of cardiac arrest accompanied by respiratory failure, triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body
4:51PM ( 15 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: Investors cautious ahead of Fed announcement
World stock markets are subdued ahead of an expected interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve
4:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
Greek high court to rule on Russian bitcoin suspect's fate
Greece's Supreme Court will rule on whether to allow the extradition of a Russian cybercrime suspect to the United States to stand trial for allegedly laundering billions of dollars using the virtual currency bitcoin
4:38AM ( 3 hours ago )
NTSB El Faro probe highlights maritime safety issues
Federal accident investigators have determined the probable cause of the sinking of the cargo ship El Faro that led to the deaths of 33 mariners in 2015.
4:36AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Asian stocks higher ahead of likely US rate hike
Asian stock markets are mostly higher after Wall Street gained as investors look ahead to a likely U.S. interest rate hike
1:25AM ( 6 hours ago )
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee leaves behind city in turmoil
San Francisco went from a city struggling from recession to a technology-fueled economic powerhouse under Mayor Ed Lee, who died Tuesday at 65
7:44PM ( 12 hours ago )
Poland's PM: we don't want a divided Europe of 2 speeds
Poland's new prime minister has told parliament that his government opposes what he calls a two-speed European Union that he says divides nations into better and worse ones
5:54PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Minnesota announces restrictions on using herbicide dicamba
Minnesota has announced restrictions on the use of the herbicide dicamba for 2018 in response to complaints by soybean growers across the country that it harmed their crops
10:47PM ( 9 hours ago )
Paris hosts major climate summit _ and it's all about Trump
The global climate summit in Paris was designed to bypass Donald Trump, but the U.S. president ended up playing a starring role
4:54PM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Jerry Brown to Trump: "Get out of the way"
California Gov. Jerry Brown is urging President Donald Trump to start fighting climate change or to "get out of the way" and let the rest of the world work on reducing emissions and investing in clean energy
1:12PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Baby formula maker calls global recall over salmonella fears
French baby formula maker Lactalis has ordered a global recall of millions of its products over fears of salmonella bacteria contamination
10:07AM ( 1 day ago )
Fire engulfs California retirement areas, racehorse stables
Flames stoked by high winds blazed through golf course retirement communities and killed elite thoroughbred horses in the San Diego area
3:22PM ( 4 days ago )
Salvage team sinks fishing boat off Hawaii reef
Salvage crews sank a derelict fishing boat at an EPA-approved offshore disposal site Thursday
2:27PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset
Democrat Doug Jones has won a stunning victory in Alabama's Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump
7:59AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Greek court backs extraditing Russian bitcoin suspect to US
Greece's Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a request to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik to the United States to stand trial for allegedly laundering billions of dollars using the virtual currency bitcoin
7:55AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Rock Hall 2018 class: Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues
Iconic singer Nina Simone and New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi lead the 2018 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, which includes four first-time nominees
7:11AM ( 55 minutes ago )
France seeks ways to boost anti-jihadi force in Africa
French President Emmanuel Macron is convening presidents, princes and diplomats to breathe life into a young African military force with a mission to counter the growing threat jihadi threat in the Sahel region
7:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump says Moore had deck 'stacked against him'
Democrat Doug Jones has won a stunning victory in Alabama's Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump
6:42AM ( 1 hour ago )