Saudi minister assures contractors over payments

Finance minister dismisses payment delay claims and challenges contractors over accusations

Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf has dismissed claims by some contractors over delayed payments and said the government pays contractors once they complete the required procedure.

“I challenge anyone to prove that a complete request for funds to the finance ministry has not been appropriated within a week,” Al-Assaf said.

The minister also blamed the contractors for underestimating the requirements of handling government projects.

“Some contractors bid for projects bigger than their capability which results in delays,” he said.

King Abdullah has ordered the Cabinet to expedite the implementation of all public projects, Al-Assaf said.

“When we get appropriation requests at the ministry, we allocate funds for them on the same week.”

Last year, King Abdullah ordered the construction of 500,000 houses for Saudi citizens at a cost of $67bn, and raised the value of mortgages provided to nationals by the country’s Real Estate Development Fund to $133,300 from $80,000.

By the end of the first quarter of 2011, the Kingdom had allocated $130bn in additional spending to build homes and combat youth unemployment.

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