SR189bn in dues to private sector cleared


Saudi Gazette

— As the challenging and critical last quarter begins, the private sector in the Kingdom, which is largely depending on state spending and development projects, is optimistic about a surge in cash liquidity as authorities are clearing pending dues.

The Ministry of Finance has said in its latest report that it received a total of 345,000 payment orders with a sum of SR525 billion from 450 government entities until the middle of September.

It also stated that it cleared the payment of 36 percent of total payment orders worth SR189 billion to the private sector.

With an aim to resolve a number of issues being faced by the private sector in general and the contracting sector in particular, the Council for Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) has been clearing dues owed to the private sector under budget allocation of current financial year.

The Kingdom also initiated radical reforms in government payment method with full transparency and efficiency, ending the old method of payments by individual ministries directly to parties concerned.

According to the new system, now all transactions of payments — including bills and expenditure details — have to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance through electronic portal instead of approaching the ministry concerned.

The Ministry of Finance is the only channel from where payments are being done electronically. With the new system known as the National Finance System through E-payment, middlemen have been eliminated.

The Kingdom has been successfully implementing effective financial reforms and initiated several measures in the National Transformation Program.

Some of the leading construction companies, which abide by the terms, have been receiving payments and few of them in turn have been clearing the pending wages and financial arrears of their employees.

However, many workers are still waiting to receive their arrears.

“I have received part of my pending salary. I believe that my employer had received the payment from the ministry,” said Mohammed Abdul Hafeez, who works for a large construction company in Jeddah.

“I have been waiting for nearly a year now to receive my arrears so I can return home,” said Zahur Khan, an Indian who had worked with a construction company in Riyadh.