Healing the market’s wounds



I have long called, via this column, for creating sufficient national manpower, because it is impossible for any country to reach an advanced stage of industrial or services development without national manpower at all levels. Such manpower provides a foundation for the country. It can be likened to a ship’s rudder, as setting sail in deep waters requires a fully functional ship.

As we are still in need of non-Saudi workers in low-level and some medium-level jobs, we find that the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has issued many decisions, most of which have been implemented. The ministry has made sure that its decisions are being implemented and that they remain in place via continuous monitoring and follow-up.

However, the ministry has not studied the negative impacts on the market. Some of the ministry’s decisions have resulted in problems in the market, and these situations should be studied and recommendations issued to plug the loopholes caused by the new regulations. The ministry should come up with solutions.

The matter does not concern the Ministry of Labor alone, as other decisions must also be followed up by studies to reveal the effects of regulatory decisions. Those decisions have been formulated and implemented, but they have not been studied to determine if they have a negative impact on the market.

For example, what are the positive and negative effects of imposing dependent fees on expatriate workers? As to the positive effects, there is an increase in revenue for the government and a reduction in the cost of services that the state provides free of charge. These are the positive effects of the Saudization of jobs on the economy. As to the negative effects of that decision, there is a drop in consumer spending in the local market and a rise in remittances to other countries.

As to the real estate sector, the decision has both a positive and negative effect. There is a drop in rent, which is positive, but at the same time, many buildings remain empty which has a negative impact on those who have invested in real estate. In addition, there are negative aspects affecting the price of products and services offered in the market.

With the existence of both positive and negative effects, there has, unfortunately, been no focus on finding solutions for the negative aspects. If decisions are made to achieve positive results, then it is equally important to investigate the negative effects in order to find solutions for those who have been harmed by the negative impact on the market.