Council focuses on vitalising economy

staff reporter –
MUSCAT, June 19  –
The 11th regular session of the State Council on Wednesday discussed three draft laws on Foreign Capital Investment, Public-Private Partnership and Privatisation all forwarded by the Council of Ministers, with the report of both the Economic Committee of the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura.
The session, chaired by Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council, was held in the presence of the council members and its secretary-general.
The council commenced its discussion on the draft law of Foreign Capital Investment with the statement of the Economic Committee, explained by Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthy, Head of the Economic Committee of the Council. He stated that the draft law includes 34 articles segregated into five chapters: General definitions and provisions, incentives for foreign investment, foreign investment guarantees and administrative sanctions.
He elaborated on the aim of the draft law, which is to create jobs for the national human resources. He added that it will encourage, promote and protect foreign investment in the Sultanate, ensure creation of appropriate investment environment and make effective contribution to the development of the national economy in all sectors, lower prices, raise production efficiency and develop local infrastructure, as well as transfer technology and market access to suppliers and global markets.
The members expressed their views and highlighted the importance of encouraging foreign investment by creating an appropriate investment environment.
The council proceeded to discuss the draft laws of Public-Private Partnership and Privatisation. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthy said that the project of “Law on public-private partnership” incorporates 36 articles divided into six chapters as follows: General definitions and provisions, the introduction, award of the partnership project, the provisions of the partnership contract, the obligations of the project company, supervision and final clauses.
The draft law aims at achieving implementation of government policies to enable improvement of the national economy, enhance the role of the private sector in implementing partnership projects and encourage the private sector to invest in infrastructure and public services projects to contribute to the diversification of sources of national income and expansion of the productive base of Sultanate.
It also aims to improve the quality of public services and reduce the costs of their establishment and operation, thereby contributing to the reduction of the financial burden on the state’s general budget.
With regard to the draft law on Privatisation, Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthy said that it contained 21 articles divided into three chapters: General definitions and provisions, procedures for award and regularisation of employees. The Privatisation draft law had set out several objectives in implementing government policies to expand the role of the private sector in owning and managing various economic activities, attracting investment, expertise, technology and modern knowledge, thereby raising the efficiency of the operation of resources and improving the quality of services. It includes creation of new jobs, development and growth of the capital market.
Subsequently, the members expressed their views and underscored the role of the two projects in promoting public-private partnership and expanding the role of the private sector.