Muscat – His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Barakah Palace on Tuesday.
After giving thanks and praise to Allah, the Almighty, for the bounties He has bestowed on Oman and its loyal people, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed local, regional and international conditions.
He opened the meeting by exploring the economic, fiscal and social indices achieved last year. His Majesty voiced his satisfaction with the positive outcome of the national action at all levels. He underlined the significance of maintaining the pace in implementing the strategies, plans and programmes aimed at realising sustainable development and preserving the national gains.
His Majesty the Sultan spoke about the efforts undertaken to attract more local and foreign investments, develop sources of economic diversification and augment the share of non-oil investments in the gross domestic product.
After reviewing the executive status of initiatives and programmes being implemented by the authorities concerned, His Majesty the Sultan laid emphasis on the necessity of follow-up of these aspects. In particular, he gave directives to consolidate investment and diversify its sources, streamline related procedures and address challenges in a way that can reflect positively on investor confidence and enhance Oman’s competitive indices.
The Council of Ministers listened to a briefing about the fiscal performance of the Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and its role in boosting the national economy. His Majesty the Sultan commended the performance of the OIA and its ability to realise good financial gains since its inception. He gave directives to channel the OIA’s investments towards achieving added value in the national economy and consolidating production frameworks in a manner that can augment local content and generate more jobs for citizens.
His Majesty the Sultan touched on the executive position of employment initiatives and programme. He underlined the importance of raising the awareness of youth about global standards of work culture and the need to encourage them to undertake self-employment. In this context, he instructed the departments concerned to create appropriate environment for citizens to take all types of jobs and enterprises.
His Majesty the Sultan also reviewed the assessment of the performances of government units in 2022 as done by the Government Performance Measurement Unit, which indicated tangible improvements. He stressed the need for continuous upgradation of government performances at all levels to achieve the desired goals, visions and aspirations – keeping pace with global developments. He urged all institutions to study the areas of strength and weakness and to find the best ways to address the challenges facing them.
After reviewing the results achieved through the ‘Manjam’ labs on streamlining government services, His Majesty the Sultan stressed the need for effective participation in the upcoming stages of the laboratories. He instructed that such actions would be undertaken in accordance with regulatory standards of governance based on institutional partnership to achieve the satisfaction of Oman’s citizens, residents and the business sector.
In this context, he lauded government departments’ improved performance in the Digital Transformation Programme, giving directives to maintain such efforts.
While reviewing the progress made in conducting the municipal councils’ elections, His Majesty the Sultan hailed citizens’ earnest quest to engage in the elections, both from abroad and within Oman, as they competed to select the members who now represent them in the 3rd term Municipal Councils.
He also commended the application of technology which empowered the citizens to remotely vote through smartphones and enabled those interested to follow up results of the elections.
His Majesty the Sultan expressed his satisfaction with the efforts exerted by the authorities concerned in organising the elections. He gave his blessings to the new formation of municipal councils. He also laid emphasis on the collaboration of efforts, in the next stage, to develop municipal services and develop governorates so that they could play their prospective roles in the nation building process.
While referring to the data on the spread of drugs and psychotropic substances, His Majesty the Sultan valued the efforts made by the departments concerned in combating the phenomenon.
He pointed out that a five-year national strategy was endorsed to address drugs and psychotropic substances in the Sultanate of Oman (2023-28). He gave directives to authorities to take necessary actions to limit the negative (health, social, economic and security) impacts of the phenomenon.
His Majesty the Sultan also spoke about developments taking place in the regional and international arenas as a result of changing behaviour and alien concepts, which often challenge human rights, and other proclaimed justifications to impose certain visions, programmes and conducts that do not fit with prevalent principles.
In this context, His Majesty the Sultan underscored the significance of engaging in upright action to consolidate innate Omani principles and values that stem from the teachings of true religion. He urged families to bring up their children in accordance with sound educational values.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan spoke about various aspects of concern to the nation and citizens. He wished all success in realising prosperity and progress for this dear homeland.