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Saudi king promises economic reforms, fiscal discipline in budget speech

Saudi king promises economic reforms, fiscal discipline in budget speech
Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser -
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FAISAL AL NASSER(Reuters)
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RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday announced a 1.11 trillion Saudi riyal (233.84 billion pounds) budget, the kingdom's biggest ever, and said the government will move ahead with economic reforms.

"We are determined to go ahead with economic reform, achieving fiscal discipline, improving transparency and empowering the private sector," he said in a televised speech.

Under the economic Vision 2030 plan pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh is seeking to create more jobs for Saudis, but businesses have been hit hard by tax rises and other steps to narrow the government's budget deficit.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad and Stephen Kalin)

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