Govt finalizing plan to contain 'tasattur'

All retail outlets will be asked to set up points of sale.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Ministry of Commerce and Investments is finalizing a plan to make it obligatory on shops and commercial establishments to introduce points of sale in a bid to contain or at least minimize the practice of tasattur, where foreigners carry out business operations in the name of Saudis in return for a fixed fee.

Business daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported on Wednesday quoting ministry sources that the plan would be announced in four weeks and will be applied before the end of the year.

The sources said the commitment of the commercial establishments to introduce points of sale will be executed in phases starting with the big entities such as malls and shopping centers and go down to the small and medium shops.

They said the objective behind the introduction of the points of sales was to end tasattur or reduce it to the minimum. They pointed out that this was a big project covering numerous sectors in the Saudi retail market.

According to the sources, the bulk of tasattur takes place in the retail sector, followed by the contracting sector.

They said the revenues made by the points of sale during the first quarter of the year reached about SR46.2 billion with a growth of 6.1 percent over revenues made during the same period last year.

The sources said the sales went up by 1.9 percent to reach SR852 million compared to last year.

With 15,100 operations, the sector of services and the various commodities represented about 30 percent of sales through the points of sale with turnovers of SR13.87 billion.

The services were followed by clothes and footwear sectors, which grew by 12.3 percent to reach SR5.6 billion through 21,700 sales operations.

The food and drinks sector, with 37,600 operations, grabbed about 24.3 percent of the sales followed by hotels and restaurants, which increased by about 20.4 percent.

Healthcare came third with a growth of about 15.3 percent.