A Guide to Saudi Arabia's Plan to Reorganize Its Government

  • Oil minister, central bank head replaced in significant shift
  • Changes in line with `Saudi Vision 2030' announced in April

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued more than 50 royal decrees on Saturday reorganizing the government of the world’s largest oil exporter. In a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency, the royal court said the changes were consistent with “Saudi Vision 2030,” the kingdom’s blueprint for the post-oil era, which was announced in April. The shifts will “focus and clarify responsibilities, and ease procedures to offer better services,” the royal court said.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz

Photographer: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

Here’s a summary of the biggest changes:

Oil Ministry

* Ali Al-Naimi was replaced as oil minister, a post he held since 1995, and named an adviser to the royal court with the rank of minister.

* The oil ministry was renamed the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and Khalid Al-Falih, chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., was appointed its minister. Al-Falih had previously served as health minister.

* The water and electricity ministry was abolished and its responsibilities split. The energy ministry will now oversee activities related to electricity.

Central Bank

* Saudi Arabia’s top central banker, Monetary Agency Governor Fahad Al Mubarak, was replaced by Ahmed Alkholifey, formerly a deputy governor at the agency.

Cabinet Reshuffle

* The commerce and industry ministry was renamed the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, and Majed Al-Qasabi, formerly social affairs minister, was named its head.

* Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, formerly commerce and industry minister, was named health minister, replacing Al-Falih.

* Sulaiman Al-Hamdan was appointed transport minister, replacing Abdullah Al-Muqbel.

* The labor and social affairs ministries were merged into a new entity, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.

* The agriculture ministry was renamed the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

* The hajj ministry was renamed the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Bentin was named minister, replacing Bandar bin Mohammed bin Hamza Hajjar.

Other Changes

* The Department of Zakat and Income Tax was renamed the General Authority for Zakat and Income, and was linked to the finance ministry.

* A General Authority for Entertainment and a General Authority for Culture will be established.

* Several new royal advisers were appointed.

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