South Asia and Beyond

No Plan To Levy Income Tax: Saudi Crown Prince

There are no plans to introduce any income tax in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said. The 15 per cent rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) is for five years only, he added.

The VAT rate, which was hiked from 5 per cent, came into effect from July last year to support the economy during Covid-19.

“That step was painful for me personally because I do not want to affect Saudi citizens in any manner. My responsibility is to guarantee and build the future of Saudi citizens in the long term, for the next 20-30 years,” the Crown Prince said in an interview to a TV channel.

He reiterated that the economy needs to shed its overdependence on oil as the kingdom ‘has great opportunities in many sectors other than oil’. “Our goal is to compete with the world in all spheres. Oil only meets some of our needs but we cannot continue to rely on it as we are heading for the future.” He informed that negotiations were on to sell 1 per cent stake of Aramco to a foreign investor.

On ties with the United States, the Crown Prince said that the Kingdom agreed with Joe Biden’s administration on 90 per cent of issues. “We are working together to find common ground on disagreements.”