Saudi Arabia revises plan to overhaul gov’t, economy by 2020

Some targets set by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are lowered as ambitions bump up against the reality of implementation

Saudi Arabia revises plan to overhaul gov't, economy by 2020
Saudi Arabia revises plan to overhaul gov't, economy by 2020

Saudi Arabia has quietly revised its plan to overhaul its government and economy by 2020, lowering some targets as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitions bump up against the reality of implementation.

The scaled-back blueprint – posted unannounced online – doesn’t affect major fiscal or energy-related reforms. But the lowered bar is a sign that parts of the original plan were overly optimistic, and illustrates the challenges ahead for the prince.

The program, released in 2016, was designed to overhaul the Saudi economy and prepare for life after oil. The government had already been forced to backtrack on some of its more unpopular measures, including cuts to government workers’ allowances. It’s also set less challenging projections for lowering unemployment as the private sector struggles.

The government didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the modified plan posted online.

Female participation in the job market is one key target that’s been pared. The new goal is to have women make up 24 percent of the workforce by 2020, down from an original goal of 28 percent and 21.2 percent last year.

Less ambitious goals were also set for training government employees, and some of the measures designed to improve health services and raise quality of life. Some targets were unchanged, while several new ones have been added, including reduced corruption, raising the retail sector’s share of economic output and better integrating people with disabilities in the workforce. More

By Bloomberg