Riyadh: A 50 per cent tax on soft drinks will come into force in the second quarter of 2017.
The new levy was announced as Saudi Arabia unveiled yesterday the state budget plan for the fiscal year 2017.
Under the new measure, a 100% tax would also be levied on tobacco and byproducts, as well as energy beverages.
The tax levied on selected products that pose health risk was endorsed during the 36th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit.
The list of taxable products could be expanded to include sugary beverages and food products which were cited among the causes of the alarming increase in the rate of diabetes and obesity in Saudi Arabia.