Time to Revise Saudi Subsidies?

Saudi Arabia’s system of electricity subsidies “should be revised,” the chief executive of Saudi Electricity Co, the country’s majority state-owned power utility, said on Tuesday.

“Subsidies are becoming a big part of the government budget,” Ali al-Barrak said at a financial conference in Riyadh. “Subsidies should be revised and done in a different way. They should be smarter and support the low-income people.”

The International Energy Agency estimates that the Saudi government incurs an annual subsidy bill of US$61 billion, the second-highest subsidy in the world after Iran.