Saudi king orders Eid holiday bonus for some citizens

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered a 1.7 billion riyal ($453 million) payout to beneficiaries of social security in the kingdom ahead of the upcoming Islamic Eid holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday the directive is to help people meet their needs during the Eid holiday, which begins this weekend.

In January, the king authorized a much larger package of bonuses and payouts for social security beneficiaries, civil servants, military personnel and Saudi students on scholarships abroad after a new tax was introduced and subsidies were lifted on gasoline.

The kingdom also has a newly instituted welfare system for about 3 million families, half of which receive the maximum payment of 938 riyals ($250) a month.

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