April 17, 2017 / 12:21 PM / 4 months ago

Saudi Arabia says tax on tobacco, drinks to raise up to $2.7 billion: Al Arabiya TV

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's government estimates a new tax on tobacco and sugary drinks will raise between 8 billion and 10 billion riyals ($2.1 billion to $2.7 billion) annually, Al Arabiya television quoted the General Authority of Zakat and Tax as saying on Monday.

The government has previously said it will introduce the tax, part of efforts to close a budget deficit that totaled 297 billion riyals last year, in the second quarter of this year.

A 50 percent levy will be imposed on soft drinks and 100 percent on tobacco and energy drinks, according to an official statement last December.

Reporting by Reem Shamseddine and Maha El Dahan; Writing by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet

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