Tasattur fines exceed SR10m in two years

February 13, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

Saudi courts have imposed fines worth a total of SR10.5 million on Saudi nationals found guilty of engaging in tasattur practices in the past two years, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.

Tasattur refers to the business arrangement where Saudis permit expatriate workers to run businesses in their name in return for a fixed amount. The volume of tasattur operations is estimated to range from SR300 billion to SR400 billion across all sectors, the ministry said.

A national anti-tasattur program, which was approved by the higher authorities, will be announced soon, according to sources in the ministry. The program aims to create a conducive environment for Saudis to own and run businesses in different sectors, in addition to providing them with financial solutions and different facilities. It requires all businesses to use technology to ensure that the profits do not leave the country, harming the national economy.

The new program is part of the National Transformation Program 2020 initiatives and aims to curb tasattur practices by developing laws and regulations, intensifying monitoring, raising public awareness and ensuring the cooperation of all government agencies.

Penalties for tasattur include imprisonment up to two years and a fine of up to SR1 million. Non-Saudi workers will be deported from the country after serving their sentences. The people involved in tasattur will also be named and shamed in newspapers. The business will be closed and liquidated while the owner will be banned from practicing any business in the future.

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