Saudi Shoura seeks role in supervising ministries’ budget


"With the huge budget this year, we are asking for a role to supervise ministries, because every year we find that many planned projects failed to materialize and the money was wasted," said Mohammad Al-Zulfa, a Shoura member.
He said there was no authority to hold erring ministeries accountable.

General Auditing Bureau’s role is just supervisory, the Shoura member said.

"We have branches in every ministry to send us regular reports about income and expenditure of each one. In case of noticing any discrepancy, we send faxes as a first step to the responsible authority," said Salem Al-Haddad, Head of General Auditing Bureau in Jeddah.

By the end of every Hijra year, Shoura Council receives reports from each ministry explaining the accomplishments in the previous year and projects that were completed.

"Every year we receive reports from ministries, but we cannot take action," said Al-Zulfa.

Allocations made for expenditures in the budget announced recently were SR45 billion higher than that of 2006 budget where expenditures were put at SR335 billion.

The budget was prepared with a view to meeting the goals of the 8th Five-Year Development Plan and make available the necessary services required by citizens.

The national budget is the largest in its history with expenditures projected at SR380 billion and revenues at SR400 billion.

The Kingdom would make an estimated record budget surplus of SR265 billion this year and cut down public debt to SR366 billion.

The budget included new development projects worth SR140 billion.

In a statement issued on the occasion, the Finance Ministry said the King has allocated SR40 billion from the 2006 budget surplus for additional development projects and SR20 billion to increase the capital of Public Investment Fund (PIF).


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