Riyadh- On Saturday the 8th of May, and in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued 42 royal decrees which addressed the restructuring of the council of ministers, the amendment of five ministries, the merger of one ministry, the relief of six ministers from assigned posts, the reassignment of three of the relieved ministers to other ministries in addition to the establishment of the first ever Saudi Arabian General Authority for Entertainment. The decrees present King Salman’s overhaul of the perseverance of Kingdom’s development.
An issued royal statement clarified that King Salman has carried on the march towards the 2030 vision with complementary strategy which is based on well-studied campaigns established post specialized research.
The initial outcome of the studies led to the restructuring of ministerial council bodies, the cancellation of many councils and committees and the founding of two new councils; one of which attends political and security affairs while the other runs economic and development affairs. Both councils are in effect and catering to the needs and benefits of Saudi Arabia and its people.
The king announced major changes and replacing the ministers in charge of energy, water, transport, commerce, social affairs, health and Haj; besides establishing a new recreation and culture commission.
King Salman dissolved the ministry of water and announced a new ministry for water, environment and agriculture. The Haj Ministry has been renamed Ministry of Haj and Umrah.
Referring to the central bank’s operations, the royal court statement said that Al-Khulaifi, who has been named SAMA governor, was deputy governor for research and international affairs at the central bank. His predecessor, Al-Mubarak, was named central bank governor in 2011.
King Salman replaced the long-serving Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi with Saudi Aramco chief Khalid Al-Falih, who will now be responsible for energy, industry and mineral resources.
Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, who was in charge of commerce and industry, is to be the new health minister; while central bank (SAMA) Gov. Fahad Al-Mubarak has been replaced with Ahmed Al-Khulaifi.
King Salman also issued royal orders appointing Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan as minister of transport. Former petroleum minister Al-Naimi and Sheikh Saad bin Nasser Al-Shathri will now serve as advisers at the royal court with the rank of minister.
Also, Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer has been named as adviser to the king with the rank of minister.
Key appointments include that of Prince Khalid bin Saud bin Khalid to the post of adviser at the Royal Court (excellent rank), Prince Mohammed bin Saud bin Khalid as member of Shoura Council; Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Mohammed as adviser at the Royal Court; Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz as adviser at the Royal Court (excellent rank) and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz as adviser at the Royal Court.
Sulaiman bin Abdullah bin Humoud Abalkhail was named the new rector of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University with the rank of minister, while Prince Abdullah bin Musaad bin Abdulaziz, will be new president of General Authority for Sports. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, the outgoing minister of state and member of the Council of Ministers, will now head the Education Evaluation Commission.
Another new face is Majid Al-Qasabi, who has been appointed as the minister of commerce and investment. Mohammed Salih Bentin has been named minister of Haj and Umrah in the reshuffle that comes within the framework of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz had recently revealed Vision 2030, which includes measures of the privatization of state-owned institutions and a stake in Saudi Aramco..
According to the royal decrees, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been renamed the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, while the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources will be known as Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources. It will also be entrusted with the task to undertake the management of the National Industrial Cluster Development Program.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has been named as the ‘Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance’. On the other hand, the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs have been integrated to become one. The names of several national bodies have also been changed with additional mandates, rights and duties delegated to them.
Referring to other national organizations, the royal decrees said that the Zakat Department has been renamed ‘General Authority for Zakat and Income,’ with a board of directors chaired by the minister of finance. A General Authority for Entertainment has also been established besides a General Authority for Culture. In terms of supervisory roles, the minister of health shall chair the board of directors of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.
The minister of energy, industry and mineral resources shall chair the board of directors of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), Saudi Organization for Industrial Estates and Technology Zones, Saudi Geological Survey, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Exports Development Authority and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
In terms of appointments, the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and the president of the Council of Competition as well as the chairman of the board of directors of Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority shall be appointed by royal order. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) will be linked to the minister of transport.