Bin­ladin Group gets de­layed Saudi gov­ern­ment funds

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

SAUDI Ara­bia’s gov­ern­ment has trans­ferred de­layed funds to con­struc­tion gi­ant Saudi Bin­ladin Group so it can pay back-wages to its re­main­ing em­ploy­ees.

The firm “re­ceived some pay­ment in the last cou­ple of weeks”, Yaseen Alat­tas, Saudi Bin­ladin Group’s chief com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer, told AFP.

De­layed re­ceipts from the gov­ern­ment, whose oil rev­enues have dropped sig­nif­i­cantly over the past two years, have left tens of thou­sands of em­ploy­ees of the king­dom’s con­struc­tion firms strug­gling while they wait for salaries.

Mr Alat­tas said Saudi Bin­ladin Group has al­ready fin­ished pay­ments to around 70,000 laid-off work­ers.

“They got paid com­pletely with all their due salaries and their fi­nal in­dem­ni­ties,” he said, adding that the ex­pa­tri­ates among them have gone home.

Some work­ers still with the com­pany have also re­ceived their de­layed wages, “based on the pay­ments that are com­ing now from the gov­ern­ment”, whose busi­ness is the foun­da­tion of Saudi con­struc­tion con­tracts.

Mr Alat­tas said those pay­ments will con­tinue “based pro­por­tion­ately to the pay­ments as they come from the gov­ern­ment”.

He was not spe­cific about how many em­ploy­ees re­main with the com­pany, but said it is a “float­ing num­ber” based on projects.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported that the gov­ern­ment paid Saudi Bin­ladin Group be­tween US$800 mil­lion and $1.1 bil­lion in Septem­ber to cover un­paid wages.

The firm was sus­pended for sev­eral months from new gov­ern­ment projects af­ter a deadly crane accident in Septem­ber last year at Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

Saudi Bin­ladin was founded more than 80 years ago by the fa­ther of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed five years ago by US Navy SEALs. –

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