Ease of doing business in Oman: 30 days to clear all approvals

Muscat - 

Oman is aiming to clear approvals in 30 days to start business as part of its ‘ease of doing business’ initiative.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, H E Talal al Rahbi, deputy secretary general, Supreme Council for Planning, said that faster approvals are part of the Tanfeedh initiatives to be outlined in a report by the end of the month.

H E Rahbi

Oman has been ranked 66th globally and third among Arab countries in the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Report.

In Starting a Business Index - an important component of overall Doing Business ranking - Oman topped all the Arab countries and has been ranked 32nd globally.

The World Bank’s Doing Business survey presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies. Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are: Starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

He said the clearance process to open a hotel would be reduced from over 200 days to only 28. “To finalise all requests to open a business, or all permissions, maximum 30 days. And that’s a big commitment,” H E Rahbi said recently at an event to establish the Omani-Italian Friendship Association.

H E Rahbi also said that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Invest Easy portal will be upgraded and that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs will be granting companies quick environmental approvals online.

The changes are meant to improve the ease of doing business in Oman and help the private sector take a larger role.

H E Rahbi said the Tanfeedh report will be handbook for the private sector to know the value of projects and with which government ministry to coordinate.

The report will also detail KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) setting deadlines on the completion of Tanfeedh’s projects.

He said this should give the public the chance to monitor progress. “There will be a big transparency in the work of Tanfeedh. And nothing will be done unless we all support this initiative,” H E Rahbi added.

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