- Saudi Arabia to Hire PwC to Advise on $20 Billion Cost Cuts
Saudi Arabia is working with PricewaterhouseCoopers on plans to cancel about $20 billion of projects as the kingdom seeks to shore up its finances, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Ministry of Economy and Planning hired the consultancy firm to review $69 billion of government contracts with a view to cutting about a third of them, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Projects under review include contracts awarded by the ministries of housing, transport, health and education, they said, adding that PwC’s role also includes advising on ways to cut project costs or privatize them.
Under Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the world’s biggest oil exporter is seeking to rein in spending to narrow a budget shortfall that reached nearly 300 billion riyals ($80 billion) last year after oil prices slumped. The kingdom set up an office to limit government spending, according to this year’s budget that was announced in December.
Authorities also set up the National Project Management Office last year to control capital spending and ensure that government projects are carried out efficiently.
PwC declined to comment, while a spokesman for the Ministry of Economy didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.