Visitors and guests are seen at SAUDI ARAMCO stand during the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
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Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has a daunting to-do list as the real work begins on his plan to transform the world's biggest oil exporter into an economy no longer reliant on crude.From planning potentially the world's biggest initial public offering to rolling out taxes and protecting Saudis from the impact of spending cutbacks, here are six developments to watch this year:Shielding the PoorThe Citizen's Account is a program meant to soften the impact of austerity measures on low- and middle-income Saudis. It will start with 20 to 25 billion riyals ($6.7 billion) of disbursements this year, and increase to 60 to 70 billion riyals by 2020 .Registration opened Feb. 1, and more than half of Saudi Arabia's 20 million citizens have already signed up. TaxesThe government is also planning new taxes as it seeks to balance the budget.The government is responding with a stimulus package of 200 billion riyals through 2020 .
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