The NCP has invited the public to submit comments on the draft law by 29 July.
Once finalised, the law is expected to unlock SR35-40bn ($9.3bn-$10.7bn) from selling government assets and create 10,000-12,000 new private sector jobs as outlined in the kingdom’s 2020 Delivery Programme.
The draft law in an important step for the kingdom’s privatisation programme, which requires the development of a legislative framework to enable the implementation of private sector participation (PSP) projects “by addressing the obstacles and legislative gaps that exist in the regulatory environment in general.”
The draft law sets out the general principles governing PSP. These include transparency, contract enforcement and planning, and the parameters for the powers and functions of various agencies involved in the programme's implementation, including the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA), NCP and various supervisory committees.
The draft law proposes that NCP will establish a PSP projects registry that will be made available to the public “provided it does not contain information of a commercial or security sensitivity.”
Article 12 of the draft law also outlines that the government “may provide financial and economic or other type of support to any PPP [public-private partnership] project.”
The support may include, but not limited to, providing loans; bank guarantees; guarantees on revenues; contributing to the share of the PPP project; support for projects that are economically desirable but not commercially successful; tariff subsidies; foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuation guarantees; tax benefits; and guarantees on the quality of performance related to the obligations of the governmental entity.
The draft law along with the Delivery Plan 2020 are part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 economic reform programme.
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