The Cabinet today approved the Ninth Development Plan covering the period 1431/1432 - 1435/1436 H. (2010 - 2014). Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz directed all government departments and agencies to implement the programs and projects within their set time limits. King Abdullah said that development spending has reached SR 1.444 trillion [$385 billion], an increase of 67% over the Eighth Development Plan. The a majority of the spending was allocated to human resource development, social development, health, municipal services, housing, culture, and transport and communications.
Minister of Economy and Planning Khalid Al-Gosaibi said the development plan is part of the Kingdom’s long-term strategy of achieving sustained development and aims at eradicating poverty, providing housing, employment, education, health care and other public services and facilities. Minister Al-Gosaibi expects an annual economic growth of 5.2 percent during the development period. “We also expect that the per capita income would grow from SR46,200 [$12,320] in 2009 to SR53,200 [$14,187] by 2014,” he said. The private sector is expected to grow 6.6 percent annually while non-oil sectors by 6.3 percent and investment by 10.4 percent.
The Ninth Five-Year Development Plan will establish 117 new hospitals, 750 primary health care centers and 400 emergency centers, Minister Al-Gosaibi said following the Cabinet’s decision. Other projects include 25 new colleges of technology, 28 higher technical institutes and 50 industrial training institutes, as well as expanding the capacities of public universities to 1.7 million students and primary, intermediate and secondary schools to 5.31 million students. The development plan also calls for doubling the present capacity of desalination plants from 1.05 billion to 2.07 billion cubic meters annually by 2014.