Recruiting non-Omanis in 5 professions banned

By Lakshmi Kothaneth and Kabeer Yusuf — MUSCAT: Dec 4: The Ministry of Manpower has suspended hiring of non-Omanis in five sectors — camel rearing, sales agents, procurement, construction and cleaning — since beginning of this month. The ban list is set to grow longer, with the ministry deciding not to allow the recruitment of non-Omanis in four more areas — carpentry, aluminium fabrication, blacksmith, brick kilns — from January 2017.  A ministry spokesperson said the new rule is a “renewal of the existing labour restrictions that seek to balance the labour demography”.
“We are aiming at regulating the labour market and checking the misuse of clearances issued in a particular sector.” However, there are exceptions to the rule in its applicability depending upon the company’s grade and the sector in which it is functioning.
The new regulations don’t apply to companies coming under A Grade category. “Those falling in categories 4, 3 and 2 will no longer be allowed to bring in expatriate labour force for the said jobs,” he said. However, those companies that have an ongoing government project or have secured a public utility project will be allowed to bring in workers for carrying out these jobs. A company that has issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to allow its labour force to work elsewhere will not be granted permission to hire new workers.  The local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will not be affected by the new rules, according to the ministry.
Governorates such as al Sharqiyah, Dhofar, al Dhahirah, al Batinah and al Dakhiliyah are focal points for camel rearing. Ahmed Haroob al Mahrouqi, who owns 13 camels and sells camel milk in Adam but works in Muscat, says it is difficult to run the business without professional stockmen.
For obtaining clearances for recruitment, one has to register the camel farm and obtain a letter of approval from the Wali’s office.