Jeddah skyline Saudi Arabia
Privately owned businesses are getting more relief in Saudi Arabia, as the government tries to reduce failure rates from the COVID-19 pandemic. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia will put off private sector loan payments for a year to reduce the impact on businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative includes postponing the repayment of loan installments due this year, totaling an estimated 670 million Saudi Riyals, for all entities that had signed up for the Corporate Sustainability Support Programme. In addition, the loan deferment will extend to loans provided by the programme to the health and educational sectors, with 192 benefitting from the latest announcement.

The Saudi Government’s relief measures for the private sector now total almost $61 billion. These include exemptions and postponements of some government dues (totaling $18.6 billion), a $13.3 billion package to support the banking and SME sectors, another $13.3 billion to ensure government dues to the private sector are paid in a timely manner, and a wage subsidy of 60 per cent (up to 9,000 riyals per employee per month) of Saudi nationals’ salaries in the private sector.

There are also numerous tax related-measures, including extending deadlines for filing tax returns and paying these.

The central bank also injected $13.3 billion into the banking sector to enhance liquidity and enable banks to continue providing credit facilities for the private sector.