Amidst plunging oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet passed a proposal to hike the state’s revenues from various other sources like traffic violation fines and visa fees, cited the Saudi news agency, SPA, on Monday. Plunging crude oil prices has caused a significant drop in the state’s revenues through crude exports, leaving it in a budgetary deficit of close to $100 billion in 2015, forcing the Saudi government to look for other avenues for financing the deficit.
Revision in visa fees that has been passed by the state cabinet is $2,133 (8,000 Riyals) for a 2-year duration multiple-entry visa to Saudi Arabia. The duration for a multiple-exit and re-entry visas has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months. However, the cost for the visa remains the same with 500 Riyals. In addition to a hike on these two revenue heads, the cabinet also hiked the civil aviation fee, as per the SPA, which went on to say without any further details, that the state decided to fine the drifters (or the thrill-seeking motorists who spin and skid their cars at high speed as a motor sport) rather heavily, if they are found guilty of that charge.
The SPA did not confirm the fine amount levied by the state government and the amount of revenues it will be making as a result of the hike that will affect business and family visitors to Saudi Arabia, the latter making up for family of close to 10 million expats who work and stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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