Muscat – The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) has announced that it is now mandatory to provide electronic payment facilities to customers in eight business activities, including sale of precious metals and foodstuffs.
The move is aimed at comprehensive digital transformation through cooperation and integration between MoCIIP, the Central Bank of Oman, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Protection Authority and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology.
H E Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, has issued Ministerial Decision No 386/2022 to this effect.
The business activities that must provide electronic payment facilities to customers include sale of foodstuff, gold and silver, vegetables and fruits, electronics, building materials and tobacco products, besides activities in industrial zones, shopping complexes, malls, gift markets and restaurants and cafes.
MoCIIP confirmed that consumers can choose the payment option – electronic or cash. The ministry called on all businesses to provide electronic payment facilities in their stores and outlets before the decision comes into effect.
The decision was issued on April 14 and comes into effect 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.
It also states that violators will be fined RO100 and given 20 days to make arrangements to provide e-payment facilities.
Welcoming the decision, Nasseal al Hosni, an economic analyst, said the move will reduce ‘hidden trade’ (illegal practices), stimulate economic activities and boost domestic trade. “It will also compel companies to be accurate in their tax filings.”
According to Hosni, additionally the decision will help the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Authority apply taxes on businesses.
While welcoming the decision, Marhoon al Saidi, a private sector employee, hoped it is extended to all market sectors. “People will carry less cash which will be better for safety and security.”