Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the import of 10 million tons of cement to end its shortage in the country.
"The King's order to all cement plants to import 10 million tons additional cement to cover the needs of the market in addition to what they are manufacturing will end the current shortage of cement in the local market," Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said in a statement.
The order also calls for long-term solution to the issue by establishing three or four new plants immediately with a total annual production capacity of 12 million tons. "The king has also allocated SR 3 billion to support this program for a period of three years," Al-Rabiah said.
In another decree, the king ordered the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to hand over to the Ministry of Housing all the land it planned to distribute to citizens.
"The Ministry of Housing will plan and build necessary infrastructure and distribute the land plots among citizens based on an eligibility mechanism," Minister of Housing Shuwaish Al-Duwaihi said quoting the royal order. The ministry will grant citizens developed plots and loans in accordance with their eligibility, the order said.
Economist Abdul Wahab Abu Dahish said the royal decree would help end the housing crisis on one hand and bring down property prices on the other.