Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, on Saturday restructured some government ministries and reshuffled the cabinet to appoint new ministers, a step implementing the government’s wide reforms aimed at overhauling the Saudi economy amid lower oil prices that have eroded state revenues.
Under a new Saudi leadership led by King Salman, the king’s son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has largely been overseeing Saudi economic policy along with a handful of new ministers.
Saudi state television cited a royal decree as saying the petroleum ministry had been renamed to become the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mining. Long-serving oil minister Ali al-Naimi was replaced by Khalid al-Falih, chairman of state oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco. Falih was relieved from his previous post of health minister, the decree said.
Ministers in charge of the energy, water, transport, commerce, social affairs, and pilgrimage portfolios were replaced as well and a new commission for recreation and culture was established.
The statement issued by the Royal Court reads as follows:
“Emanating from the keenness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to continue the march of growth and development which has been adopted by our country since its unification by the founder King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud and his sons, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has continued this march within the framework of an integrated strategy and in accordance with studied plans that were developed after conducting several specialized studies. The first outcome was the restructuring of the bodies affiliated to the Council of Ministers, the cancellation of several councils, commissions and committees, and the establishment of two councils – one for political and security affairs and the other for economic affairs and development. The two councils have undertaken their duties to serve the interests of the country and citizens.
Based on the above and in line with the Kingdom’s Vision (2030), the restructuring of some ministries, authorities and general organizations was conducted in accordance with the requirements of this phase and the desired aspirations to have the state bodies performing their duties in the best way to provide the citizens and expatriates with high level services and to achieve a prosperous future and a sustainable development. This has necessitated the abolition, integration and arrangement of the jurisdiction of many ministries, authorities, public commissions and government departments in order to make the responsibilities clear and facilitate the procedures to provide the best services in line with the state policy. In order to achieve these objectives, a number of royal orders were issued today restructuring some ministries and government bodies and appointing a number of ministers and officials.”