The decision to increase work permit fees for expatriates will negatively affect the local economy, according to Eng Ridha bin Juma al Saleh, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
In a series of tweets, the OCCI chairman said, “The decision will cause big losses for business owners and lead to the continuation of consumer concerns, such as the high cost of goods and services.”
He also stressed that changes in the policies and procedures regulating workforce recruitment licences need further study so that “we can organise the labour market in accordance with future aspirations that ensure the growth of the private sector and raise its productivity”.
“It is necessary to encourage foreign and domestic investment, review laws and legislation regulating investment, and grant incentives and facilities to investors, which in turn will enhance job creation and job opportunities during the next phase, and contribute to advancing development of the national economy,” said Eng Saleh.
Talking about providing jobs for Omanis, he said, “To provide these opportunities, it is necessary to work on expanding the local economy by encouraging and attracting investments in various sectors, which will produce more fields of work, and in many specialisations that are commensurate with the various specialisations and qualifications of local cadres.
“We are heading towards uneasy economic conditions, which require the concerned authorities to take into account these circumstances and alleviate the many burdens incurred by the private sector and work to support the growth and stability of its institutions.”
He explained that the issuance of the Omani Labour Law has become necessary, and the participation of the private sector represented by the chamber when preparing the law is an important and necessary matter in order to achieve a balanced equation that regulates the labour market and ensures balance and preservation of the rights and duties of the various stakeholders.
He stressed on the importance of education and vocational training and refining the skills of young people through on-the-job training to be able to take on jobs with perfection.
“According to Royal Decree No 45/2017, OCCI has to express an opinion on the legislation regulating commercial and industrial activities before its issuance, and submit proposals regarding the amendment of the final laws; therefore it is necessary to take the chamber’s opinion, especially on the new Omani Labour Law,” said Eng Saleh.
Talking about the Ministry of Labour’s decision to raise the fees for a number of transactions, he said that the current economic conditions require the concerned authorities to alleviate the many burdens that the private sector has incurred and work to support the growth and stability of its institutions and actively contribute to its advancement through the facilities provided by the government.