No change in minimum salary rule for expats to bring families

By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: Jan. 4: The minimum salary of RO 600 for expats who want to bring their families to the Sultanate will remain, said a member of Majlis Ash’shura, citing the Royal Oman Police (ROP) reply. The Majlis Ash’shura had asked the Royal Oman Police if the minimum salary could be reduced to enable expats to bring their families. ROP’s reply was “any change in this matter isn’t possible at present,” said Tariq al Junaibi, a Majlis Ash’shura member and a member of the Council Office.
“The ROP replied the decision was taken by a committee formed by the Ministers’ Council. The committee studied the issue and found RO 600 is the right wage for an expat to bring his family to the Sultanate,” he said.
Majlis Ash’shura had asked the ROP to reconsider the salary limit. “If minimum salary is lowered, then the number of expats who will bring their families to the Sultanate will increase, which will lead to increased spending in Oman.”
The parliament had asked the ROP why a salary limit had been set for expats. Lowering the salary limit for getting family status will help them bring their families, which will boost spending and help the economy, it was felt.
Expats with families will spend more money here rather than transferring it to their home country.
A total of 1,747,097 were expats working in the country, according to statistics released last year. Expat remittances reached RO 2.13 billion in the first half of 2016.
Last October, the Central Bank of Oman revealed there was no plan to tax the remittances from expatriates.
The International Monetary Fund agreement signed by the Sultanate stipulates that no restrictions should be imposed on transfers and payments classified as current international transactions.
In November 2014, Majlis Ash’shura had approved a proposal for imposing a 2 per cent tax on expatriate remittances. However, the proposal was rejected by the State Council.