• Kingdom financially approves 1,420 contracts worth SR71.5 billion


    The contracts included building hospitals and health facilities

    The Saudi government approved 1,420 contracts worth SR71.5 billion during the first half of 2010, according to the Ministry of Finance.

    "The contracts were handed out as the Kingdom continues its restructuring plan,"said a ministry spokesman on Tuesday.
    Saudi government launched in 2009 a five-year spending plan mainly to develop infrastructure and its oil facilities and counter the repercussions of the global crisis on the economy.
    Furthermore; contracts included 1,018 construction projects worth SR60.03 billion. The figures did not include projects worth less than SR5 million and to be implemented in less than one year.

    Other contracts were water and sewage projects worth SR6 billion and village and town developments worth SR5.6 billion.
    Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said Saudi Arabia awarded the contracts as it continues to implement its investment program in an effort to stimulate growth and create additional job opportunities for Saudis.

    Saudi Arabia has drawn on its reserves to fund record budgets and keep its five-year infrastructure development program on track.

    Spending on projects was SR180 billion in 2009, up 37 percent compared to the previous year. The rise in spending is also due to the investment plan.
    Policymakers say this counter-cyclical strategy helps dampen downturns for countries dependent on income from oil exports.

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