The Council of Ministers has decided to approve a proposal to raise the minimum gross salary for an Omani in the private sector to RO325, with effect from July 1, 2013. This was part of a number of decisions taken by the Council, which met on Saturday.
According to a statement, the Council studied a number of important economic and social issues and came up with the decisions. Hailing the outcomes of His Majesty the Sultan's Meet the People Tour and the measures announced for the youth during his meeting with dignitaries at Saih al Shamkhat in Bahla, the Council said that the environment has become conducive to encourage promising Omani youths to effectively take part in nation-building through entrepreneurship and utilisation of the available investment opportunities.
The Council of Ministers also stressed on the importance of cooperation among all departments in the state to simplify and facilitate transactions and measures to implement the approved decisions. On the rise in the number of expatriate manpower, the Council took executive decisions that embody the Royal Directives on striking a balance between expatriate manpower and the nation's gross population so that the percentage of expatriate workers does not exceed 33 in the term specified for this. Some important mechanisms identified by the council are:
• Revising the Foreign Investment Law to bridge the gaps that are being exploited to unnecessarily recruit expatriates.
• Studying clearances granted to recruit foreign manpower in all specialisations.
• Revising the measures taken to grant commercial registrations.
• Approving new mechanisms to limit hidden trade.
• Delegating the Supreme Council for Planning with the task of preparing a plan on existing and future job-generating projects for citizens and defining a time frame for the same. Due to the importance of limiting the negative effects of this issue on the country's economic, social and security policies, the Council of Ministers decided to constitute a work team with representatives from the Supreme Council for Planning, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Civil Service, the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers, the ROP, the Tender Board and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI). The team will put together regular reports on the progress of implementation of the mechanisms on the citizen-expatriate workforce balance.
On the existing cooperation between the government and the private sector, the Council of Ministers reviewed the outcomes of the joint action team regarding the proposed mechanisms for a number of aspects highlighted at the meeting held in December 2012. The meeting was attended by prominent businessmen, ministers, government officials, as well as chairman of OCCI.
The outcome of the meeting covered employment, social insurance, holidays, bridging gaps between education and training and the labour market, revising the Labour Law, improving the environment for business and attracting investments.
Guided by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said's Royal Speech at the Council of Oman on enhancing the contribution of the private sector in the country's development and Omani youths to work in the sector, the joint work team discussed increasing the minimum salaries for Omanis working in the private sector.