Okaz/Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — A total of 700,000 families received over SR1,000 per family as financial aid through the Citizen’s Account Program.
Saudi Arabia made its first installment of SR2 billion ($533.33 million) into the household allowance program, with 10.6 million beneficiaries on Dec. 21.
Half of the households received the maximum average monthly benefit of about SR938 while the smallest payout was SR300.
In a presentation of the program last week, labor ministry officials said about 3.7 million households signed up, representing some 13 million total beneficiaries, but that not all would be approved for eligibility.
The next monthly installment will be transferred on Jan 10.
Those who have completed their application by Dec. 16 will receive allocations from the second batch.
Allocations will be made on the 10th of each month if it does not fall on a weekend.
The program was initiated to help Saudi families cope with taxes and austerity measures.
The financial aid is based on an applicant’s income, family size and ages of family members. A follow up will be made every three months to see how the financial aid has helped applicants.
After the allocation of the first financial fund, applicants contacted technical support with complaints and suggestions.
Last year, officials presenting the program had estimated that a family of six with a monthly income of less than SR12,000 would receive a monthly cash transfer of SR1,200, falling to SR1,000 for a family of six with an income of less than SR15,299.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) directed all local banks not use the Citizen’s Account Program money for any other banking purposes such as giving personal loans or other financing services.