200318 Saudi
A coffee shop is seen empty of customers after Saudi Arabia's decision to ban gatherings, following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 9, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has approved an additional stimulus package aimed at mitigating the economic fallout from the new coronavirus on the private sector, a Saudi official has said.

The package includes allocating 50 billion Saudi riyal to fast-track the payment of dues owed to the private sector. It also features financial support and exemptions for the private sector, Minister of Financing and Acting Economy and Planning Mohammad Al Jadaan said.

"The government has taken a number of additional precautionary measures aimed at providing cash liquidity for the private sector to use it in managing its economic activities, and constantly works to study the impact of the coronavirus crisis on a number of sectors," the minister added.

The Energy Ministry said the king has ordered a 30 per cent discount for two months in the value of electricity bills for commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors, with possible extension as part of the new package.

The latest steps build on 70 billion riyal in aid pledged to support the small and medium-scale enterprises impacted by the virus, Al Jadaan said.

Earlier this month, the king ordered 9 billion riyal to cover part of the salaries for Saudi citizens working in the private sector as part of a package designed to cushion the economic impact of the virus outbreak on the sector.