Stock Saudi Riyadh skyline
A view shows buildings and houses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia to raise the minimum wage for Saudi employees by a third to reach 4,000 riyals ($1,066), local media reported.

The increase in the minimum salary for Saudis was announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, as part of its Nitaqat Programme, that aims to cut unemployment rates among Saudis and encourage establishments in the Kingdom to recruit more Saudis.

However, the ministry has yet to specify the exact date for the decision to come into effect.

The decision, which was issued by Ahmed Suleiman Al Rajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, includes Saudi students who work on an hourly-basis system or have part-time jobs, or those working according to the flexible work system.

Meanwhile, Majid Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment and acting Minister of Media, said the Kingdom is reconsidering the VAT rate. “The VAT increase decision will be reviewed after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Al Qasabi said during a press conference on Thursday. Saudi Arabia increased the VAT rate from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on July 1.

The minister said Saudi Arabia will be among the first countries to obtain coronavirus vaccine and highlighted the Kingdom’s successful efforts in combating the pandemic.