Merging two government agencies to facilitate tax and customs procedures in Saudi Arabia
Specialists for “Asharq Al-Awsat”: The restructuring supports achieving operational efficiency and addressing the dispersal of powers
Thursday – 24 Ramadan 1442 AH – 06 May 2021 AD Issue No. [
The Saudi Council of Ministers approves the merging of customs with the Zakat and Income Authority (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Riyadh: Bandar Muslim
Specialists confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the recent decisions confirm the Kingdom’s endeavor to restructure government agencies to achieve efficiency and address the obstacles they face, explaining that the fledgling body will have a more effective role in Saudi economic development.
The Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, Muhammad Al-Jadaan, explained that the decision to merge the two bodies will contribute to strengthening the security aspect, improving business practice, facilitating trade, and facilitating zakat, tax and customs procedures for the business sector, by raising the level of integration of procedures between the two sides, and developing a platform Unified based on modern technologies, saving time and cost for the customer, thus enhancing the Kingdom’s economic competitiveness and attracting foreign investments.
He stated that the establishment of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority is in line with the most prominent modern international practices in the countries of the world, as it aims to unify the efforts of both sectors under one umbrella, which raises the effectiveness of performance and efficiency of spending, in order to achieve the desired goals.
Al-Jadaan said, in a statement issued yesterday, that the great attention that the leadership attaches to the continuous development of state agencies in all government sectors, and the development of human capital capabilities, is one of the most important possibilities for reaching the goals of “Vision 2030”.
For his part, a member of the Shura Council, Fadl Al-Buainain, told Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the decision to merge the General Authority for Zakat and Income and the General Authority of Customs has different aspects. The first is related to government restructuring, which is still ongoing, with the aim of reaching an optimal model in government agencies and ministries, in a way that achieves efficiency, and addresses some of the challenges related to overlapping tasks and powers.
Al-Buainain continued that the second aspect is concerned with achieving operational efficiency, collecting tax, customs and zakat procedures under one umbrella, in a way that contributes to facilitating, integrating and linking procedures with each other, and addressing some business sector challenges related to tax and customs dispersion, and in a way that contributes to facilitating trade procedures in general, and unifies their reference .
The member of the Shura Council added that the last positive return relates to global practices, as the task of enhancing the Kingdom’s competitiveness in the economic sectors requires simulating global models related to tax and customs procedures, indicating that this procedure is important to achieve global harmonization, and that the Kingdom’s goal is to enhance its global trade, and therefore its systems must be With an international dimension, and to enhance competitiveness and the influx of foreign investments
Al-Buainain added: “It is important to point out the importance of the merger procedures, and the necessity for their streamlining and non-impact on the procedures of the two related bodies with which they are linked in the business sectors. I believe that there are challenges that may arise during the merger process, and the betting remains on limiting them and addressing them immediately. ”
He added, “Perhaps merging under the umbrella of the single reference, while retaining the entities in the first stage, then achieving total merger, is the ideal model for reducing the expected challenges.”
For his part, the public policy expert, Dr. Akram Jadawi, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the merger decision will yield positive results for what serves the public good, and will be a push towards more giving and motivation for excellence, unifying and focusing efforts, providing services better, better and faster, and that the nascent body will lead. A more active role in economic development. Dr. Jadawi said that combining zakat and income with customs enhances complementarity in decisions, speeds up the accomplishments of transactions, and is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, stressing at the same time that Saudi Arabia is moving forward towards restructuring the relevant authorities in order to regulate the process of collecting tax and customs revenues, and facilitate Actions on clients. Jadawi added that the establishment of the authority is in line with modern international practices, and aims to unify the efforts of the two sectors, which confirms the keenness of the rational government, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his Crown Prince, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, to develop state agencies in all government sectors. In addition to developing human capital capabilities.