In pictures: His Majesty the Sultan Chairs Council of Ministers meeting

His Majesty The Sultan
His Majesty The Sultan

Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik chaired a meeting of the Council of Ministers at the Cabinet’s building in Muscat today.

At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to Allah the Almighty for the riches which He has bestowed on Oman, its loyal people and all those residing on its land. His Majesty the Sultan prayed to the Almighty to perpetuate these bountiful gifts, stability and peace on this benign land and all countries of the world. He pleaded to the Almighty to bless the efforts of all diligent people and grant them good luck and success.

Then, His Majesty reviewed local and international conditions.

As part of His Majesty’s constant care and follow-up of the educational system—its development and upgrading to meet the goals of Oman Vision 2040, and its aspirations to efficiently groom generations of citizens and prepare them to possess skills and command capabilities in various fields, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to the Council of Ministers to go ahead with the application of the system of “Vocational and Technical Education”, which aims to enable students of Grades 11 and 12 to choose educational tracks within a range of professional and technical fields, including engineering and industrial specializations.

The Council of Ministers approved that plan within the framework of the study presented by the Ministry of Education, which included new educational tracks and curricula designed to keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development and future skills. This is in addition to restructuring the educational system’s configuration, so that the “Vocational and Technical Education System” would begin to be implemented, and the study plan applied, with effect from the next academic year 2023/2024.

After His Majesty the Sultan commended the status of teachers and their active role in the upbringing of generations of Omani citizens, instilling in them sublime values and virtues, the Council of Ministers approved the allocation of “Omani Teacher’s Day”—which falls on 24 February every year—as an official holiday for all teachers and occupants of relevant supporting jobs in public and private schools.

Within the context of conclusions reached by the Council about the “Investment Laboratory in The Sports Sector”—its proposed initiatives and investment projects, His Majesty issued directives to study related priority projects and to provide the necessary facilities for investors, being partners in sports development. His Majesty the Sultan underscored the significance of developing the sports sector and upgrading it. He also stressed the need to complete the sports strategy being prepared to raise the efficiency of young people and explore their skills, with effect from the early educational stages.

As part of its keenness on all that would contribute to consolidating the national economy, the Council of Ministers laid emphasis on enhancing the local content of Omani industries, as well as the preparation of a national policy to reduce imports and increase exports. The Council also stressed the allocation of a percentage of development spending to projects that contribute to achieving in-country value (ICV) for the national economy, besides generating employment opportunities for citizens.

His Majesty the Sultan valued the efforts undertaken by the governorates to enhance economic activities through the establishment of various projects, festivals and other events. In this context, he underlined the need for the governorates to demonstrate their potentials and to compete with each other to present the best proposal for development projects that can be implemented in one of their respective wilayats, so that those projects can be evaluated in accordance with specific regulations, determinants and conditions to be announced later. The step provides for funding the top three winning projects.

In complementation of the efforts made by the government to enhance the role of the private sector in developing the national economy, encouraging the establishment of businesses, attracting more investments and increasing competitiveness in government tenders by providing an opportunity for a larger number of companies, the Council of Ministers decided to cut down commercial registration fees for foreign investors and equate them with Omani investors, according to specific regulations to be determined by the authorities concerned.

On the other hand, the Council approved exempting companies contesting tenders from providing temporary insurance (the bidding guarantee submitted as a condition for entering the tender).

Then, His Majesty the Sultan spoke about regional and international affairs and Oman’s bilateral relations with a number of Arab and friendly countries with the objective of meeting the common interests and aspirations of nations.

At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan touched on a number of aspects of concern to the country and the citizens. His Majesty wished all further success towards the realization of Oman’s progress and prosperity.

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