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    Shifting some powers and jurisdictions from the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture

    On July 1, 2020G, corresponding to Dhul Al-Qada 10, 1441H, the Saudi Cabinet issued a decision endorsing switching seven powers and jurisdictions from Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA) to Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) of Saudi Arabia in order to separate the activities that both the ministries are sharing and entrusted to organize them efficiently.

    The move will help augment the governance of such activities in a clear and more specific manner for the public interest.

    Powers and jurisdictions that have been shifted from MMRA to MEWA:

    • Local markets are (of public interest) for essential commodities including vegetables and fruit; meats; fish; livestock and camels; poultry; firewood; fodder; and abattoirs.
    • Zoos and shops sell wildlife animals and birds.
    • Natural parks and outdoor tents (camping).
    • Projects concerning construction of dams, their operation and maintenance within and outside the urban space.
    • Projects are concerned about curtailing the dangers of torrents and floods outside urban space.
    • Shifting the responsibility of overseeing all water treatment and desalination plants that exist inside and outside cities and governorates.
    • Managing stray cattle inside and outside the cities.

    To enforce such a decision, both the ministries have concluded an agreement, which stipulates shifting the foregoing powers and jurisdictions to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, for forming a number of taskforces, whose comprising members shall be from both ministries to assume several jobs efficiently.

    Jobs entrusted to the taskforce, comprising members shall be from both ministries:

    • Installation of a separate water meter, for each residential unit, or commercial one in the construction permit.
    • Installation of water consumption rationalization devices by the secretariats and municipalities to handle the violations and transgressions on lands, which are subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture; and correct such violations in accordance with the laws and instructions of the MEWA.
    • Finalize the approvals to resume the decisions on allocation of land issued by the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
    • Finalize the formalities for the applications to earmark the sites requested by MEWA, which are meant for its services and activities inside or outside the urban areas and its development boundaries, where there is a delay in decision regarding the same which may affect the progress of projects that the MEWA has been assigned to complete.

    Eventually, the shift of such powers will help enhance and develop the local markets, raise the credibility and transparency, create a link between the agricultural producers (farmers) and the markets in order to facilitate the local products reach all consumers efficiently.

    It will contribute in also creating job opportunities for Saudi nationals and raise farmers’ income by increasing the profit rates, which will in turn increase gradually over supply chains and will diversify the scope which will expand resulting in the farmers gaining more profit rates.

    Consumers shall benefit from the move as well by procuring agricultural and animal products in addition to numerous healthy foods directly.

    In addition to the above, there will be improvements in the level of governance of the powers and jurisdictions that have been shifted between both ministries.

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