Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers, which passed the Foreign Investment Act, endorsing the system recommended by the Supreme Economic Council (SEC) and by the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura). In a related development, the cabinet also approved the formation of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) in accordance with the formula annexed to the Act, as prescribed by the SEC. At the same time, the cabinet dissolved the Saudi Consulting House (SCH) and transferred all its duties and rights to the newly-established SAGIA.
In addition, on SEC's recommendation, the cabinet resolved that the government assume 15 percent of the taxes imposed on company interest exceeding SR 100,000 [U.S. $ 26,667] annually, and agreed on the principle of posting losses to coming years without fixing any set period.
The meeting began with briefings on the performance of a number of government ministries and departments, focusing on the first quarter of the State Budget, particularly the service and development sectors. During his remarks on the performance of sectors rendering direct services to the citizens, King Fahd referred to the importance of demonstrating greater concern and doubling efforts to facilitate day-to-day matters.
The cabinet was also briefed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal on the outcome of the 74th session of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held recently in Jeddah. The cabinet welcomed the communiqué issued following this meeting, as focussing on the welfare of the people of the GCC member states.
The cabinet then discussed the latest developments, particularly with regard to the Middle East peace talks and the procrastination caused by Israel's intransigence and attempts to foil efforts for a just, permanent and comprehensive peace in accordance with United Nations resolutions 242, 338 and 425.