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Friday, 18 June 2021

Saudi crown prince says he will further centralise policy making

Policies today are being translated by committees but in the future the dedicated office ... will issue orders to ministries to implement the prepared strategy with clear roles and objectives,' he said

Reuters , Wednesday 28 Apr 2021
Mohammed Bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman smiles during a televised interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 27, 2021.
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said in a televised interview that he will further centralise policymaking, to ensure the success of his drive to diversify the economy.

In the interview, aired on Saudi TV late on Tuesday, he said the kingdom had set up a Budget Bureau to take over setting the state budget from the finance ministry, and would by the end of this year launch a new Policies Office.

The moves continue a shift of policy decisions away from traditional bodies such as the finance ministry and central bank, which began with the formation of a Council of Economic and Development Affairs, headed by the prince, after his father King Salman took the throne in 2015.

"Policies today are being translated by committees but in the future the dedicated office ... will issue orders to ministries to implement the prepared strategy with clear roles and objectives," he said.

Prince Mohammed, who became crown prince in 2017,  is also the minister of defence, head of the supreme council for state run oil company Saudi Aramco and chairman of sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund, the main engine tasked with delivering on his diversification drive.

His remarks marked the fifth anniversary of Vision 2030, a programme intended to modernise the kingdom, wean the economy off oil revenues and lure foreign investment to establish new sectors and spur job creation.

Prince Mohammed said that before King Salman assumed power the "situation of the state was weak" with ministries scattered and no public policy.

"Nothing will be achieved without a strong state position that draws policies and sets strategies and aligns them with the different entities," he said.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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