Saudi economic measures painful: King Salman
Iran Press TV
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:49PM
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has acknowledged that some of the economic measures adopted by the government in response to low oil prices are "painful," stressing, however, that the policies are needed to avert more complicated financial woes.
King Salman made the remarks in an address to the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, also known as the Shura Council, on Wednesday.
"The state has sought to deal with these changes... through a variety of measures to restructure the economy, some of which may be painful in the short run but ultimately aim to protect the economy of your country from worse problems," he said.
The Saudi king further noted that Riyadh had also cut its expenses in the case of similar circumstances in the past three decades.
The finances of Saudi Arabia, the world's second largest crude producer and largest oil exporter, are in tatters due to a downturn in oil prices and rising military expenditure, a large amount of which is being funneled into a military campaign against Yemen, where thousands of people have been killed and many more injured.
The kingdom had a record budget deficit of almost $100 billion last year, prompting it to rein in public spending in a bid to save money.
Back in September, the Riyadh regime cancelled financial perks for public sector employees and cut salaries of ministers and Shura Council members by 20 and 15 percent, respectively.
Touching on the deadly Saudi aggression on neighboring Yemen, King Salman claimed that his country was against "any interference" in the domestic affairs of the impoverished state.
The claim came as Salman's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, has an overall responsibility for the war on Yemen, which was launched in March 2015 with the purpose of reinstalling the former Yemeni government.
The Yemen intervention has cost Riyadh billions of dollars at a time that the kingdom is grappling with falling oil revenues.
At least 11,400 civilians have been killed in the Saudi offensive, according to a latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.
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