Saudi raises fines and visa fees to boost revenues

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RIYADH: On Monday, the official SPA news agency said, Cabinet of the Saudi Arabia seeking to increase government fees including visa charges and fines for some traffic violations, following period of low oil prices.

Cheap oil prices have cut the government revenue from oil exports and burden budget shortage, last year it was nearly $100 billion. It is forcing it to find new ways to raise money.

New visa fees approved by the cabinet include a charge of 8,000 riyals ($2,133) for a two-year multiple entry permit. A three-month multiple exit and re-entry visa will cost 500 riyals; previously, such a visa cost 500 riyals for six months.

SPA said, the cabinet also approved changes in civil aviation fees without giving details and set heavy fines for “drifting”, in which thrill-seeking Saudi motorists spin and skid their cars at high speed.

SPA did not disclose any details about how much money rise with new fees and which could affect business travel to Saudi Arabia and visits by family members of the nearly 10 million foreigners estimated to live and work in the kingdom.

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