Cancel expat levy, JCCI tells ministry


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Jeddah — The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) has asked the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) to cancel expat levy for firms which have equal number of Saudis and expat workers.

This is part of seven recommendations sent by the JCCI to the ministry in a report.

It said that expat levy should not be collected for the remaining work permit period after an expat has been sent on an exit visa.

The report said that companies should not be held accountable for the non-payment of dependents’ fee by expat workers. If the ministry wants to take action, it should stop renewing the documents of the dependents of expat workers who fail to pay the fee.

From January this year, the government started collecting SR400 per month per expat worker for companies where expats outnumber Saudis and SR300 per month per expat worker for companies where expats and Saudis are in equal number.

This levy will increase to SR600 in 2019 and SR800 in 2020 for companies where expats outnumber Saudis.

But for companies where expats and Saudis are in equal number, the levy will increase to SR500 in 2019 and SR700 in 2020.

The JCCI report also said that 15.6% establishments in Jeddah are on the verge of closure and 11% will face financial burdens because the ministry is asking companies to continue with the collection of cumulative bills.

It said that 5.6% companies will have difficulty in expanding their activities because of cumulative bills.

The report said that 95.2% of private sector companies voted against the ministry’s decision to collect cumulative bills.

Several chambers also sent letters to the ministry demanding more time or postponement of this decision.