The latest Saudi efforts to optimize and restructure government agencies to speed the implementation of the national transformation plan “Vision 2030” saw the merger of the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) with the General Authority of Customs.
On Tuesday, the Saudi Cabinet, chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, approved merging the two bodies under an umbrella authority named “Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZTCA).”
Moreover, the Cabinet approved the regulation of the new organization.
Efficiency-driven restructuring of government bodies helps resolve obstacles standing in the way of achieving the goals of Vision 2030, experts told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that the merger has produced a valuable agency in terms of contribution to the Kingdom’s economic growth.
Despite reaffirming that establishing the ZTCA will help in overcoming authority-related challenges, Saudi Shura Council member Fadl al-Buainain pointed out the need to ensure a smooth integration.
“It is important to point out the importance of the merger procedures, and the necessity for their streamlining and non-impact on the procedures of the two relevant bodies associated with them in the business sectors,” said al-Buainain.
“Saudi Arabia’s decision to merge GAZT with the General Authority of Customs will enhance security, business and trade exchange, in addition to other Zakat, tax and customs procedures,” Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance and GAZT chairman, said in a statement.
“The newly merged entity is in line with the latest international practices and will boost operating as well as cost efficiency,” Al- Jadaan affirmed, adding that the government’s efforts to develop the state-owned entities continuously came within Saudi Vision 2030.
According to the minister, the great deal of attention Saudi leadership gives to the nonstop advancement of all state agencies and human capital represents one of the essential pillars for realizing Vision 2030.