Tycoon prince assails Saudi fiscal policy over deficit

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gestures during a press conference, on September 13, 2011, in RiyadhBillionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has lashed out at the Saudi fiscal policy after projecting the largest ever budget deficit for 2015 following the slump in oil prices. “We have reached the danger point… after starting to withdraw from the reserves,” to meet the budget shortfall, Alwaleed said in a letter addressed to the finance minister. Saudi Arabia, the lead producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, also said it estimates 2014 actual budget deficit at $14.4 billion as both spending and revenues far exceeded projections. Alwaleed, a member of the Saudi ruling family and the wealthiest Arab private investor, said Riyadh should not have let spending rise above projections, especially after oil prices began to decline.

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