KSA rejects proposal to put fees on expat remittances

Following the announcement of the Saudi Finance Ministry, the Shoura Council has also rejected a proposal to impose fees on expat remittances, saying it will not serve the national economy.

With a vote of about 73 percent, the Council refused to discuss the proposal which was tabled by its financial committee.

As many as 86 members, who attended the Council’s session on Tuesday, voted against the proposal which was supported by only 33 members.

“What is the stand of the government on this proposal which was denied by the Finance Ministry?” questioned Abdullah Al-Balawi, a member.

He also asked: What will the fees do to the national economy?

He asked the General Assembly of the Council not to discuss the proposal.
“The fees, if imposed, would rather promote tasattur (expatriates illegally doing business in the name of Saudis) and further increase money-laundering,” said Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al-Sadoun, another member.

Sami Zaidan, another Council member, was of the opinion that if approved, the fees would send the wrong message to expatriates, contributing to the migration of capital and investments outside the Kingdom.

Abdullah Al-Maneef, said the proposal was not based on a thorough study.
“Expatriates came to the Kingdom on official work contracts,” he said, asking, “What are the investment opportunities open for them to investment their money in our country?”

In view of the majority vote, the chairman of the financial committee Osama Al-Rabiah withdrew the proposal.

A few days ago, the Finance Ministry categorically denied any plans to impose a fee on expat remittances.

The spokesman of the Finance Ministry was responding to rumors circulating on social media that the Saudi government was planning to impose fees on remittances.

He said that the Kingdom is committed to the principle of the free of flow capital, including transfers to and from the Kingdom as per international trends.

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