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New rule seeks to streamline home-based business

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Muscat: The number of small units licensed to practise home-based business activity stood at 9,000 as of July 24. This was stated by the Authority for the Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED), during a press conference on Tuesday on practicing home-based production businesses, as well as the mechanism to offer professional support to such activities. Speaking at the press conference, Mubarak bin Mohammed al Dohani, Director General of Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said that the recent decision to regulate practice of home-based business comes as an update of an earlier decision. He said that the new decision seeks to streamline home-based business, build confidence between business owners and clients and support low-income segments by attracting permanent customers, thereby allowing their businesses to grow and prosper. He added that the decision also provides legal cover for homemade products, as well as consumer protection. This will in turn facilitate the ministry’s supervision of such business activities, create a true database and secure business owners’ status as job-seekers, allowing them to try for new jobs which might be announced in any sector. ASMED Deputy Chairman Qais bin Rashid al Yaqoubi said that as many as 30 business activities are listed in the Sultanate of Oman, among them 16 are classified as professional and accredited.

ASMED has 19 training programmes in place operating across various sectors. The programmes fall in two categories — a technical and business learning category and a marketing category, said Al Yaqoubi.

He said that the number of artisans registered in Oman stands at 23,000. Al Yaqoubi added that home-based business card holders benefit from services offered to crafts people, in addition to necessary information that might be crucial in decision-making and sustainable development.

The household production activities include packaging activities (for third parties), retail sale of flowers and natural plants, retail sale of artificial flowers and plants, hairdressing and types of cosmetics for women, retailing of textiles and fabrics of all kinds, retailing of ready-made garments, making of Omani khanjars, craft products from silver, craft products by distilling flowers and herbs, making handicraft products, production of water and frankincense oil, production and refining of olive oil, manufacture of craft products from cotton or wool, manufacture of craft products from leather, manufacture of craft products from fronds, manufacture of craft products from wood, manufacture of craft products of cosmetics and perfumes, making and processing of incense.

In addition to making craft products from pottery and porcelain, craft products from stone and gypsum, making craft products from copper and metal, making craft products from traditional fishing tools, making craft products derived from bones, tailoring and sewing Arab and non-Arab women’s clothing, and renting textiles, clothing and shoes) including wedding dresses (packaging parcels, wrapping gifts, tailoring and sewing women’s abayas, organising parties, making Arabic sweets and wrapping dates.

It was also revealed that citizens who wish to practice these professions need not require registration in a commercial registry, but only a license is enough. They will also coordinate with the Ministry of Labour so that obtaining a license is not linked to obtaining a job for job-seekers. Therefore, this decision will not affect job-seekers who are engaged in productive home work.

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