Wednesday, February 01, 2023 | Rajab 9, 1444 H
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Business community hails decision

Private sector companies, corporates and other firms employing expatriate manpower have expressed joy over the Royal decision to revise the charges of resident permits taking effect from today, which is expected to help recruit foreign workforce in some sectors while fulfilling the Omanisation quotas.

The Ministry of Labour has exempted companies and individuals from renewal penalties provided that the renewal is completed before September 1, 2022, while the new discounted fees will be effective from June 1.

In line with the Royal directives for the work permit discounted fees, the Ministry of Labour announced the new fees for expatriates according to the type of profession.

Speaking to the Observer, business houses as well as owners of various businesses acknowledged their gratitude over the new move that aimed at retaining skilled workforce and nurture Oman's labour sector.

They unanimously admit that this announcement has given them new energy, purpose and confidence in bringing up the business to the next level.

"We, the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, acknowledge the private sector’s gratitude for the noble directives from His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to improve the business environment and raise the competitiveness of the Sultanate of Oman in the field of attracting investments by reducing the fees for the recruitment of non-Omani workers," says Eng Ridha bin Juma al Saleh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), in a statement.

He added that this is because the role of lower resident permit fee is quite big in reducing the costs for companies and institutions, and it comes from the premise of achieving the main objectives of the Oman Vision 2040, which requires the creation of an empowered private sector that leads a competitive and integrated economy at par with the global economy.

Shafeeq Ahammed, CEO, Zay Detergent Industry LLC, called the decision to bring back the rates 'a very noble decision'.

"As an entrepreneur in Oman, this announcement is a great comfort and joy to us during such a pandemic situation and this decision will be a milestone in the path of development of the country's SME sector business," he said, adding that the business community is expecting more such business friendly announcements from the country.

This 'multi-dimensional decision' comes with a bag of benefits to the local workforce as well because with this, any company which meets the Omanisation targets will have a better rates in the visa charges.

"This sounds very good and is highly favourable for the nationals too," adds Riyaz Ahamad, a travel agent in Suhar.

"There have been many companies in Oman the owners of which were really worried of renewing the expat visa at a premium price and some where in fact thinking of winding up their operations," he added.

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