Part of the royal decree that was announced by the newly crowned King Salman Abdulaziz al-Saud, the government has allocated SR20bn ($5.3bn) that will be spent on electricity and water projects.

The pledge will look to link remote areas with the existing grid networks, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Mohammed Tomaliah from the Saudi-based NCB Capital tells MEED that the investment firm is expecting this money to be financed through foreign reserves, which currently exceed $700bn.

Tomaliah also says, “While we have no details of the exact projects, we are expecting an expansion of the grid network to areas that usually do not receive electricity.”

The announcement supports the recent record budget for 2015 that has focused on infrastructure spend.  

It was also confirmed that the social affairs ministry will pay SR2bn in salary increments for government employees, higher education student and pensioners.

The king recently carried out his first cabinet reshuffle part of the same royal decree, as he imposed his own mandate on the kingdom’s affairs.

Several key posts were left unchanged, including the foreign, finance and oil ministries as the new monarch demonstrated a commitment to continuity.

Follow Hossam Abougabal on Twitter: @MEEDHossam