Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) stated that the kingdom does not intend to impose income tax during a televised interview marking half a decade since the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 program. The current 15 percent VAT rate levied is only an interim measure, clarified the Crown Prince on Tuesday while speaking on the Rotana Khalijiah channel.
"There are no plans at all to introduce any income tax in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The 15 per cent VAT rate is imposed for five years only," he said, adding that the decision to raise VAT rate was a painful one that he had to undertake.
"This step was painful for me personally as I do not want to affect or harm Saudi citizens in any way. My responsibility is to guarantee and build the future of Saudi citizens in the long term, for the next 20-30 years," MBS added.
Last July, Saudi Arabia tripled its value-added tax rate from 5 percent to 15 percent in a bid to defend its economy from a crazy plunge caused due to the ongoing pandemic.
Furthermore, Saudi's flagship oil company, Aramco's stake sale to foreign investors could happen within the next year or two and that talks are in process about 1 percent acquisition of Aramco by one of the world's leading energy companies. By 2030, the company deems to convert three million barrels of oil to downstream industries.
According to the Council on Economic Affairs and Development, the mammoth visionary program has focused on establishing infrastructure, building institutional and legislative structures, developing public policies and other empowering initiatives.
Under the Kingdom's Vision2030, the Crown Prince brought in several legal and social reforms to restructure the system including judicial laws, Abolishing minors' death penalty, More participation of women in major sectors, Launch of Future Investment Initiative (FII).
Several projects such as Green Saudi Initiative, NEOM, AlUla masterplan The Journey Through Time', the Red Sea resort projects and more were launched to fetch international investments and create employment opportunities.