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| 10 January, 2018

Saudi social security program pumps $560mln into citizens’ accounts

The Citizens Account program aims to protect Saudi households from the impact of economic reforms, including VAT and higher petrol prices

A Saudi money changer displays Saudi Riyal banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia July 27, 2017. 
Image used for illustrative purpose.

A Saudi money changer displays Saudi Riyal banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia July 27, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

RIYADH: The Saudi Citizens Account social security program, which is designed to assist low- and middle-income families, on Wednesday deposited an instalment of SR2.1 billion ($560 million) into beneficiaries’ accounts.

The average payment stood at SR935 ($249) for each family in the second payment round in the Citizens Account program, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Ali Rajhi, general manager of the program, said 800,000 families have received support exceeding SR900 ($240).

Half of independent families and individuals received the full payment, while 26 percent of beneficiaries received partial support.

Beneficiaries included around 3 million independent families and individuals and 7.9 million heads of households, making a total of around 11 million.

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Rajhi noted that the total payments to beneficiaries in the Citizens Account program, in its first and second rounds, reached SR4 billion.

The third payment will be deposited on Feb. 10 for those who completed their applications by Jan. 10.

The Citizens Account program aims to protect Saudi households from the direct and indirect impacts of economic reforms, compensating for an increase in prices as subsidies on electricity and petrol are cut, and value-added tax (VAT) is applied to goods.

Cash is deposited in beneficiaries’ accounts on the 10th of each month, except on weekends. If the 10th falls on a Friday, the cash is deposited on the Thursday; if it falls on Saturday, the cash is deposited on the Sunday.
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