Dubai: Nearly 400,000 Saudis across 80,000 enterprises have benefited from the wage support initiative through the Unemployment Insurance Scheme programme (SANED) in support of industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The business sectors, which benefited from the programme, include wholesale and retail trade, construction and building, hotel and accommodation and food services.
This was announced during a recently held webinar titled “Enabling the Saudi Economic Ecosystem in Response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The webinar was organised by the Communication and Financial Knowledge Center, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Finance. The event was attended by a number of public and private sector officials, including Abdul Aziz Al Rasheed, Assistant Minister for International Financial Affairs and Macro-Fiscal Policy at the Ministry of Finance, and other senior officials.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Raja Al Marzouqi, associate professor of economics at the Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies and vice- chairman of the Saudi Financial Association (SAFA).
Al Rasheed said the current COVID-19 crisis has come at a time when many countries did not have sufficient financial headroom to take measures similar to those taken during the 2008 global economic crisis.
He pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a sharp decline in global demand for oil and gas that led to significantly affecting government revenues, which required a revisit of 2020 spending plans, and a re-ordering of priorities with a focus on serving the health sector to maintain the health of citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia.
Al Rasheed said that more than 640,000 enterprises had benefited from postponement of Zakat declarations, while 250,000 enterprises benefited from the VAT declaration postponement initiative.