Saudi Arabia is looking to boost its non-oil revenue

Saudi Arabia is looking to boost its non-oil revenue

Saudi Arabia is to slap a 50% tax on soft drinks to shore up falling revenues from oil, according to reports.

The country, which will also implement a 100% duty on energy drinks, said the increases are part of an "excise tax on harmful products", Bloomberg reported late last month. The taxes will come into effect in April and also target tobacco.

On top of the new excise tax, soft drinks and energy drinks will be subject to a 5% value-added tax from the first quarter of next year as the government brings in a raft of measures to fill state coffers.

Falling oil prices have hit the resource-rich nation hard. Saudi Arabia's 2017 Budget, released last month, said the decrease "has led to a significant deficit in the government's budget and has impacted the kingdom's credit rating". 

A Canadean report released last year said Saudi Arabia will be the eighth-biggest contributor to global beverage volume growth by 2021. Soft drinks, particularly packaged water, are the main drivers.