Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik chaired a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Barakah Palace today.
At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to the Almighty Allah for the bounties of prosperity and stability. He prayed to the Almighty to perpetuate these bounties on Oman, to grant all health and to culminate their endeavours in success.
Then, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed domestic affairs. He expressed his satisfaction with Oman’s fiscal performance over the past three years. He valued the good outcomes that, he said, strongly contributed to consolidating the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), upgrading the country’s financial and economic indicators and generating some financial surplus that will be utilized in meeting a number economic and social priorities.
To this end, the Council of Ministers reviewed the draft of the State’s Budget 2024 deemed consistent with the goals of the 10th Five Year Plan.
In affirmation of his Royal attention to the care and welfare of youth— including proper grooming of youth as the best asset for subsequent generations, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to begin steps to carry out a project for establishing an integrated Sports City capable of hosting regional and international tournaments and competitions.
In this context, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to develop infrastructure for camel races, serving as one of major sports events to which the activities of a large number of citizens are linked. These include furnishing main racecourses in the governorates of Oman in coordination with offices of governors and Oman Camel Racing Federation. This is envisaged to activate tourism activities in the governorates.
Then, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed the outcomes of assessment of all government units and their rates of performance during the first half of 2023. He commended the tangible progress made in the performance of most government units. He also gave directives to exert more efforts and sustain them over the upcoming period to help raise the standard of government performance, with emphasis on improving the governance of procedures, organizing business practice, gaining the confidence of beneficiaries and upgrading services.
The Council of Ministers hailed preparations for the Shura Council’s elections that were undertaken by the Ministry of Interior and all departments concerned, to elect members for the Council’s 10th Term.
In this context, His Majesty the Sultan underscored the need for all citizens’ dedicated participation in the elections and the selection of competent members who are capable of imparting their expertise, since the power of the Shura Council is strongly linked to the those who would be elected by the voters.
This approach assumes significance because the upcoming stage of national action calls for combining all efforts and utilizing innovative and modern methods in order to safeguard the country’s gains and accomplishments, contribute to strategic planning and push the march of progress forward.
In line with rapid growth seen in all segments of the media sector, notably the updates to modern media platforms, the Council of Ministers underlined the importance of developing this sector and devising active plans to take advantage of its developments in a manner that contributes to realizing the national objectives of Omani media.
The Council of Ministers approved the promotion of Omani employees at units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus (seniors of 2013 to 2016), so that the employees could access higher grades during 2024 and 2025, in accordance with the scheduled programme.
This was pursuant to the attention accorded by His Majesty the Sultan to social affairs and in complementation of the system of assessment of individual performance of employees and institutional achievement with a view to upgrading the overall government performance, disseminating the ‘culture of performance’ and developing the spirit of innovation and excellence.
After the Council of Ministers’ reviewing a progress report about Al Batinah Coastal Road project, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to accelerate the steps undertaken by the Council of Ministers to address the challenges and difficulties facing the implementation of the project. The Royal directives also point to finalizing related cash compensations before the end of 2023.
Speaking about regional and international affairs, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed the critical developments and the violence taking place in the Palestinian arena. In this context, His Majesty the Sultan reaffirmed the Sultanate of Oman’s solidarity with the Palestinian people. He reiterated Oman’s support for all efforts calling for de-escalation, notably cessation of attacks on children and innocent civilians.
His Majesty the Sultan also called for releasing hostages in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law. He urged the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by protecting civilians and lifting the illegal siege on Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories.
His Majesty the Sultan called for a resumption of the peace process to enable the Palestinian people to regain all their legitimate rights, notably the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders, with Al Quds Al Sharqiyah (East Jerusalem) as its capital, as per the principle of the Two-state Solution, the Arab Peace Initiative and all relevant UN resolutions.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to address various matters of interest to the country and citizens. He wished all success in realizing the good of the nation and its loyal people. – ONA
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