2,000 Omani fishermen join fuel subsidy scheme

MUSCAT, MARCH 25
Around 2,000 Omani fishermen have so far signed up to be part of the National Subsidy System, joining an estimated 233,000 nationals currently receiving subsidised fuel under a government-funded scheme designed to mitigate the effects of rising fuel prices on economically disadvantaged sections of the Omani community.
Local fishermen who demonstrate that their monthly income is RO 600 or less can participate in the subsidy scheme, once their bonafides are validated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, according to an executive of the company that helped put together the online platform underpinning the National Subsidy System.
Hemant Murkoth, CEO — Business Gateways International (BGI), said a mobile app that allows Omanis to register for subsidised fuel has been suitably designed to ensure that even users lacking basic IT skills can connect with the system.
Speaking at a forum held in the city last week, Murkoth said the user-friendly design of the portal has been a key factor in eliciting a robust response from applicants.
“I’m proud to say that, in a mere span of three months since the subsidy system was launched, we have more than 233,000 Omanis who have registered on the platform and started using the app. To see an IT system embraced by the likes of homemakers, elderly people, the student community, and so on, in such a short period of time, is unique in the entire Middle East,” he said.
Launched at the start of this year, the subsidy system entitles registrants to receive up to 200 litres of M91 grade of motor fuel capped at 180 baisas per litre. This compares with a price of 205 baisas per litre of M91 fuel presently dispensed to the general public.
Omanis registering for subsidised fuel must also show that they own a vehicle for personal use or transportation, subject to their monthly income being RO 600 or less. They also need to have their vehicles registered with the Royal Oman Police.
“We also brought in the fishermen community because they need to benefit from the subsidy as well; and to this end, we worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to bring them on board,” said Murkoth.
Working to ensure the smooth operation of the National Subsidy System are a number of stakeholders, notably the multi-sectoral Fuel Pricing Committee, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, and Royal Oman Police, as well as the three principal fuel marketing companies Oman Oil, Shell and Al Maha, he said.
Muscat-based BGI’s flagship portal businessgateways.com hosts two national e-service models namely: National Business Framework (NBF) and Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS). Integrated as a single system, they are being positioned as a national procurement platform connecting the global business community to the entire supply chain spectrum of Oman’s Oil & Gas Industry.