Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers announced the establishment of the SCs yesterday, and these were given a definitive mandate to function as executive facilitators for multiple sectors which are to be privatised over the next 10 years. The sectors included in the Vision 2030 under the privatization program are: environment, water and agriculture; transport; energy, industry & mineral resources; labour and social development; housing; education; health; municipalities, telecommunication and information technology, and the Hajj & Umrah sectors.
Each committee will assess the technical, financial, legal and regulatory landscape and to establish a best practice blueprint for the privatisation of the targeted entities. The ministry of finance, a permanent member in all the SCs, will also play a crucial role in the privatisation process.
NCP will serve as a permanent member of all SCs, providing strategic guidance and support as the committees move to enhance Saudi Arabia’s economy by recruiting private sector participation through asset privatisation and the formation of new public-private partnerships. It is expected that the privatisation programme will increase the private sector’s contribution to national GDP from 40% to 65%.
NCP and the SCs are the first entities of their kind in the MENA region. “NCP has adopted a wide-ranging governance policy that will enable government agencies and hold each accountable as we move forward with stimulating private investment and privatisation,” explains Turki Al Hokail, chief executive of the NCP.
Among its key tasks, NCP will formulate regulations, create privatisation frameworks and prepare robust processes that will serve as a blueprint for agencies and entities to follow that will ensure the efficient sale of Saudi assets and to drive the privatization process forward, he explains. “We will facilitate the smooth transfer of assets by publishing a blueprint that will deepen communication channels between government agencies, citizens and the private sector locally, regionally & internationally and serve to guide investors and participating agencies and entities through the privatisation process,” he says.
NCP will work with the sectors targeted for privatisation to ensure their technical and financial readiness. “Effective governance means integrating a continuous evolution of improvement to keep pace with the rising accountability and transparency expected of government. NCP will serve as an agile, performance-oriented public organization that will boost performance and increase investment opportunity in the Kingdom,” adds Al Hokail.