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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

HM chairs Council of Ministers meeting

Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Barakah Palace on Tuesday.


At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to the Almighty Allah for the riches and stability with which He has endowed Oman. He prayed to the Almighty Allah to protect Oman, its citizens and residents, perpetuate bounties on them and grant success to all in their benign endeavours.


Then, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed domestic, regional and international circumstances.


His Majesty the Sultan expressed his Royal attention to all matters of significance to citizens, notably economic and social aspects.


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His Majesty the Sultan listened to a briefing about the executive programme citing progress made in the National Employment Programme and related initiatives. His Majesty the Sultan expressed his satisfaction with the efforts exerted in this regard and gave directives to maximize the positive action.


His Majesty the Sultan pointed out that the draft of the new Labour Law, which was finalized by the government and will be issued shortly, would encourage investment, strike a balance between the interests of workers and employers and provide enough guarantees for both parties in a manner that augments productivity and encourages jobseekers to join the private sector.


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About financial and economic aspects, His Majesty the Sultan looked into the results of implementation of the State Budget 2022 as at August, as well as the prospects of fiscal performance till the end of the year. In this respect, His Majesty the Sultan expressed his appreciation for the steps taken by the government to cut down public debt and diminish its risks to the national economy. He also valued the efforts exerted by government establishments to accomplish balanced spending rates that kept pace with estimates endorsed since the beginning of 2022.


His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to continue maintaining these efforts in order to reduce the state's public debt and bring it within safe limits—due to the economic benefits that could be generated on the medium and long terms.


In the same context, the draft of the state’s general budget for the year 2023 and its objectives and programmes were reviewed. The review covered the government’s plans to maintain financial stability and measures to achieve target economic growth rates approved in the 10th Five Year Plan.


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In his follow-up of the efforts of the unit for measuring the performance of government institutions, His Majesty the Sultan took note of the performance of units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus during the first half of 2022. He expressed his satisfaction over the results of the assessment of those departments. He reiterated the significance of pursuing efforts to improve performance and provide the best services that keep abreast of the latest developments and meet the public interest.


As part of Royal attention to improve environment performance and alleviate the impacts of climate change, the year 2050 has been set as a date for net zero carbon emissions. A national plan has been drafted to achieve this goal, along with the setting up of Oman Sustainability Centre to undertake the supervision and follow up of zero carbon emission plans and programmes. His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to all units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus to cooperate to ensure the success of the aforementioned national plan.


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In consolidation of the modern trend on local, decentralized administration aimed to achieve sustainable development, it has been stated that the new Governorates System seeks to boost the role of governors by defining specific specializations that authorize them to draft Governorates’ Budgets and Development Plans of their respective governorates through direct coordination with the departments concerned. The system also grants the governors direct executive powers where it pertains to economic development and the reinforcement of sources of the governorates’ own income—enhancing their competitiveness and encouraging investments in a manner that realizes the aspiration and needs of citizens.


In this regard, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to coordinate and secure full integration among units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus and the governorates to help streamline procedures, facilitate transactions, develop government services and improve their quality and to address the existing challenges.


About the regional and international aspects, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed Sultanate of Oman’s bilateral relations with Arab and friendly countries. His Majesty the Sultan affirmed keenness on maintaining cooperation with all countries to maintain Oman’s interests with all.


At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan touched on various other aspects of concern to citizens and residents. He wished all success in realizing bounty and prosperity for the dear homeland.


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