Saudi ministries prepare to privatize part of services

Thirteen ministries and government agencies in Saudi Arabia are preparing for the launch of the first privatisation programme to be applied to some of their services, Arabi21 has reported. This will be done by means of assigning the services to the private sector or by setting up affiliated companies which operate according to a commercial business plan.

According to Al-Madinah, government employees in the ministries and agencies affected by the proposal will be treated according to arrangements which include mandatory retirement or transfer to other government agencies or companies. The newspaper pointed out that the ministries preparing for privatising are the following:

The Ministry of Justice: The private sector will take part in authentication processes and in activities that support the executive judiciary and improving centres for the implementation of rulings pertaining to foster care and visitation rights in collaboration with the third sector.

The Ministry of Health: A partnership between the public and private sectors; the privatisation of one of the medical cities; the establishment of a domestic pharmaceutical industry; the privatisation of some hospitals; the purchase of health services; and the privatisation of renal dialysis and domestic care.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology: The complete privatisation of Saudi postal services and the setting up of an independent agency that will take responsibility for the development of an industry for information technology within the kingdom.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs: The privatisation of several services, the most prominent of which would be cleaning and the recycling of rubbish, studying the privatisation of public inspections and the issuing of various permits.

The Ministry of Culture and Information: A news company.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment: The establishment of a company for developing and managing the markets of agricultural produce (vegetables, fruit, cattle and fisheries); the construction and development of fishing ports in the coastal areas to help fishermen and create tourist centres in partnership with the private sector; the rehabilitation and development of national parks and investing in them and their long-term administration; increasing the use of treated sewage in the agricultural sector; the establishment of a centre for the development and production of veterinary vaccines to minimise the spread of disease; and the establishment of marketing services centres for the benefit of small scale farmers and producers.

The Ministry of Education: Encouraging the participation of the private sector in investing in private education, including nurseries; the development of a new model for the operation of public schools under the name of “independent schools”; and transferring the operation of 2,000 schools from the government to small size economic enterprises.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development: Assigning inspection to the private sector.

The Ministry of Housing: Transferring a property development fund to a financial corporation in order to fill the gap that exists within the property finance sector. The fund will become the executive arm of the ministry of housing.

The Ministry of Energy: The setting-up of a production centre for medium and light industries in Hawtat Bani Tamim so as to benefit from hydrocarbon and mineral resources, which are available in the region and that are; establishing a centre for the production of medium and light industries in Daba; and benefiting from hydrocarbon and mineral resources, which are available in the region and that are not utilised in the best possible way at the moment.

The Ministry of Transport: The General Ports Agency and the General Railways Agency.

The General Tourism Agency: Setting-up the Saudi company for handicrafts and manual industries.

The Civil Aviation Agency: Various projects and services in accordance with the agency’s plans.


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