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OCCI calls for review of MoL decision on new expat recruitment fee

15 Jun 2021

The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has called for a review of Ministry of Labour’s Decision No 12/2021 regarding the new fee for recruitment of non-Omani workforce.

As part of its efforts to create jobs and discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sultanate’s economy, the chamber held a meeting with a number of ministers and businessmen on Monday.

“Implementation of Decision No 12/2021 regarding the new fee for work permits for non-Omani workforce for higher and middle-level positions, and technical and specialised professions, and the new fee for work permits for small and medium enterprises requires review and further study to enhance the partnership between the public and private sectors,” said Eng Redha bin Juma al Saleh, chairman of the Board of Directors of OCCI. 

The OCCI hosted Dr Saeed bin Mohammed al Saqri, Minister of Economy, Qais bin Mohammad al Yousuf, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Dr Mahad bin Said bin Ali Ba’owain, Minister of Labour, Sheikh Nasr bin Amer al Hosani, Undersecretary for Labour in the Ministry of Labour, and Dr Saleh bin Said Masan, Undersecretary for Commerce and Industry in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion. 

“The chamber’s Board of Directors, in its meeting, decided to form work teams in the Governorate of Muscat and the rest of the governorates in coordination with the governors and the Ministry of Labour and private sector institutions to create around 7,000 job opportunities, so that there would be 500 job opportunities in each governorate and 2,000 jobs in the governorate of Muscat,” Eng Saleh said.

The meeting focused on the need to encourage attracting investments in various economic sectors and the transfer of technology and information technology that will have a positive effect on the national economy. 

The meeting also stressed the need to link foreign investments and the residency of foreign investors to encourage investments within the sultanate.

“The meeting aimed to discuss the challenges facing private sector institutions and owners of small and medium enterprises, the impact of some decisions on these institutions, and finding appropriate proposals and solutions to these challenges in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these institutions,” Eng Saleh said.

He further explained, “The GDP of Oman declined by 15 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The pandemic also affected the owners of SMEs, which led to a decline in the activity of many commercial establishments and others that were closed due to losses. 

“Many national cadres working in the private sector also lost their jobs, which led to an increase in the number of jobseekers, which would affect the growth of the national economy, societal stability and human capital.”

He stressed the need to form a committee to follow up the implementation of incentives and facilities in all government agencies provided to the private sector, that have membership of OCCI. The incentives and facilities are an important opportunity to overcome crises and obstacles.

“We appreciate the Royal Directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to employ 32,000 citizens in the public and private sectors this year, and to reduce the number of jobseekers in order to preserve the sustainability of comprehensive national development, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with the private sector, will support the government sector in providing job opportunities.”

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