Decision to increase work permit fees will negatively affect the local economy: OCCI


Muscat: The Decision to increase work permit fees will negatively affect the local economy says Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) Chairman on Monday.

His Excellency Eng. Redha bin Jumah Al Saleh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, affirmed that in light of the continuation of the Corona pandemic, the decision to increase and renew work permits fees will negatively affect mobility and local economic activity, and business owners will incur great losses, and the continuation of this situation may cause concern to the consumer In terms of high costs of goods and services, and it leads to many companies leaving the local market and moving to other markets.

On the aspirations of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, his Excellency explained the Chamber’s interest in providing job opportunities for Omani cadres, indicating that to achieve this, it is necessary to work on expanding the local economy by encouraging and attracting investments in various economic sectors, which will produce more areas of work and in many disciplines that are appropriate With the various specializations and qualifications of local cadres.

His Excellency said: “We must be aware that we are heading towards uneasy economic conditions, what we have seen in terms of lifting subsidies on basic services and applying value-added tax and the effects resulting from the drop in oil prices, in addition to the repercussions of the Corona pandemic and the huge losses it caused in various economic fields and still are. Continuing to this day, therefore, it is necessary to work towards reducing the complexities of developing an economy run by Omani youth. Education outputs are increasing annually, and hence the economy must be in line with the appropriate jobs for these outputs.

Regarding what the Ministry of Labor presented in its executive plan for the current year, His Excellency stated that this approach comes at a time when everyone, represented by the government, society and the private sector, seeks to find and provide job opportunities for researchers, diplomas and skills holders to work in the private sector and give them the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the national economy and to be He is the first to be employed by developing his practical skills to make him more competitive and productive.

His Excellency the engineer also clarified that the issuance of the labor law has become more important than before and that 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 labor market and ensures balance and preservation of the rights and duties of the various production parties.

His Excellency the engineer also stressed the importance of education and vocational training and refining the skills of young people through on-the-job training so that they are qualified and able to take on jobs and professions with professionalism and mastery. This requires continuous cooperation and coordination between educational institutions and the labor market, especially the private sector, in determining the priorities and requirements of the next stage of specializations.

His Excellency the engineer stressed that the realization of this plan does not come without the participation of all parties and drawing on their views and suggestions, especially the private sector institutions, because it will be the largest employer for those cadres and the largest incubator for those skills, so it must be present when developing such plans and that the implementation of these plans be in stages. So that the private sector can define its priorities and develop the necessary plans for training and qualification, leading to replacement in the various ranks of the job ladder, in a way that serves its future orientations and in a way that ensures the achievement of sustainability and continuity in job creation and employment opportunities.

His Excellency Al Saleh explained the importance of activating social dialogue, which is represented by both the Ministry of Labor, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the General Federation of the Sultanate’s Workers by taking the opinions of business owners and women on various topics, including reviewing some professions, and the extent of the impact of decisions on small and medium enterprises.

His Excellency indicated that according to what was stipulated in the Chamber’s regulation issued by Royal Decree (45/2017), that the Chamber shall express an opinion on the legislation governing commercial and industrial activities before issuing them, and submit proposals regarding the amendment of the final laws, and therefore it is necessary to take the Chamber’s opinion and participate, especially in the Omani Labor Law. The new one, referring to the importance of creating conditions, encouraging foreign and domestic investment, reviewing laws and legislation regulating investment and granting incentives and facilities to investors, which in turn will enhance the creation of jobs and job opportunities during the next phase, God willing, and contribute to advancing development in the national economy.

His Excellency the engineer also stressed that changes in the policies and procedures regulating workforce recruitment licenses need further study so that we can organize the labor market according to future aspirations that ensure the growth of the private sector and raise its productivity.

Regarding what the Ministry of Labor announced about raising fees for a number of transactions, His Excellency the Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors confirmed that the current economic conditions require the concerned authorities to take into account these circumstances and to reduce the many burdens that the private sector has incurred and work to support the growth and stability of its institutions and contribute actively to its advancement. During the facilities provided by the government, as these increases in fees will be an added burden for them, stressing the importance of focusing on reducing fees and postponing their application until the end of 2022 until the economic conditions improve, which would support investment, as the increases occurring work to reduce investment and developments Economic.

Regarding what was indicated that there is no private investment sector in the Sultanate, his Excellency said: “If we tell the truth of this issue, this comes due to the lack of concerted efforts of the various parties related to economic and investment work aimed at creating the appropriate environment and encouraging the growth of private sector institutions in the investment field. The evidence for this is that private sector deposits have reached about 15 billion Omani riyals, which is a direct indication of the inability to direct them with proper guidance towards investing in productive projects instead of keeping them as deposits.

Regarding the procedures related to depositing all end-of-service benefits for all foreign employees in the Social Insurance Fund for all companies at the level of the Sultanate, His Excellency Al Saleh indicated that withdrawing these amounts from private sector companies will have negative consequences, and it is known that the government is late in paying the companies’ dues.

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