Saudi consumers and businesses will be relieved after Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said there will be no further VAT hikes. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan said there were no plans to reconsider the Value Added Tax (VAT) policy in the short- to medium-term. The government hiked the rate from 5 per cent to 15 from July 1, as part of  measures taken to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus on government revenues. 

Addressing a joint press conference with Minister of State and Saudi Arabia’s G20 Sherpa Dr. Fahd Almubarak, at the end of the G20 Summit on Sunday, Al Jadaan said that the Kingdom has presented initiatives worth more than SR200 billion to confront the repercussions of the pandemic. (A sherpa is the personal representative of a head of state or government who prepares an international summit, particularly the annual G7 and G20 summits).

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In step

“Many international institutions are coordinating measures to ensure the provision of coronavirus vaccine for everyone, Al Jadaan said. "The G20 has stood in the face of the challenges with its utmost keenness to provide essential support to major global institutions."

According to him, the G20 summit’s final communiqué was approved unanimously by all member countries, but Turkey wanted its “voice to be heard”. “Turkey, without a doubt, as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman explained, wanted to make sure that its voice was heard, and we agreed. And with regard to statement itself, everyone agreed, including Turkey,” Al Jadaan added.

Headway with WTO

Speaking to reporters, Dr. Almubarak considered Riyadh’s initiative to reform the World Trade Organisation as one of the most prominent achievements of the Kingdom’s summit presidency. “The G20 has launched several initiatives that will help fight corruption in the economy. The group has framed a number of principles to review the foundations of global trade, and three meetings of G20 commerce ministers were held in the current year itself.”