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Budget Cycle

 Budget Cycle

Saudi Arabia's general budget plays a crucial role in realizing the ambitious objectives outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030. It is a primary source of funding for the Vision Realization Programs (VRPs) and is essential for Saudi Arabia's GDP growth and credit rating improvement. Given its significance, the Ministry of Finance places great emphasis on transparency in budget preparation to ensure sustainability and to achieve the country's aspirations.

The general budget goes through the following three main stages every year:


The budget preparation stage begins during the first quarter of the fiscal year by identifying the main directions of the budget, discussing it with stakeholders, preparing a detailed plan for the budget preparation project, and signing service-level agreements. This stage is followed by review, analysis, and discussion; which continues until the end of August.

by the end of December of the previous fiscal year and continues into the following January of the current fiscal year. By early February, the main directions of the budget are determined, and from mid-March to the end of April a thorough review and analysis are conducted. The discussion and revision stage then lasts from May until the end of August.

Budget preparation follows specific standards that include adhering to annual timelines and providing projections for general resources and expenditures. It shall also involve balancing revenues and expenses, providing a detailed analysis of variables, determining spending caps, and presenting a unified budget statement that encompasses all expenses and revenues.

Budget preparation requires financial and economic expertise, technical knowledge, strategic thinking, leadership skills, a deep understanding of policies and regulations, as well as advanced financial analysis capabilities.



Budget approval goes through three stages. It begins with preliminary analysis during July, August, and September; followed by final approval in October and November, and the official budget announcement takes place in December.



MOF undertakes four key actions to ensure successful budget implementation. First, budget directions are communicated to relevant parties; second, revenues are collected and adherence to expenditure plans is ensured; third, quarterly performance is estimated; lastly, a final account is prepared, which involves government agencies submitting their financial reports at the end of the fiscal year. During this stage, MOF also engages with government agencies through introductory workshops and a media plan for the budget announcement. In addition, MOF engages with agencies which have supporting roles.

Automation programs ensure facilitating budget preparation and implementation. These programs include Etimad Platform, budget planning and preparation systems, financial systems for accounting processes, business intelligence reports, and data governance and management enhancement programs.

Etimad Platform significantly contributes to enhancing transparency and spending efficiency for its users, including government and regulatory agencies, contractors, and suppliers, among others. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia's transition from cash basis to accrual accounting has increased transparency and accountability, aligning it with international standards followed by G20 countries.

Saudi Arabia's budget adheres to legislative and regulatory aspects and complies with Saudi government directives. MOF is actively developing policies to achieve the strategic goals of VRPs related to the financial sector, which are the Privatization Program, the Financial Sustainability Program, and the Financial Sector Development Program. It aims to enhance the economic and strategic impact of these programs in order to realize the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.

Last Update : 3/13/2024 3:49 PM