Shoura members seek study on negative effects of expat levy

December 30, 2019
Shoura council
Shoura council

Saudi Gazette report

Members of the Shoura Council called on Monday for carrying out studies on the negative impact of levies imposed on expatriates. They also underlined the need for raising the minimum scale of salaries to attract more Saudis to be employed as part of the measures to address the unemployment problem.

Taking part in deliberations on the report of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Assaf Abuthonain, a member of the council, called for a study on the negative effects of imposing fees on foreign workers on various social and economic realms.

Dr. Samia Bukhari called on the ministry to make a greater effort to enhance the position of citizens in the private sector through expanding Saudization to more sectors, and support employing Saudis in key positions. She also stressed the need to raise the minimum wage.

On his part, Osama Al-Rabiah, another member, drew attention to the suffering of a number of sectors following the Nitaqat Saudization program, especially in the contracting, operation and maintenance sector.

Dr. Fahd Bin Jumaa underscored the importance of the ministry’s announcement of adopting a program for the Saudization of key positions so that the percentage of Saudis in this vital sector would reach 80 percent over the coming 10 years.

Supporting this proposal, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jarba called for developing a national strategy for Saudization of key posts. He suggested inclusion of this provision in the Labor Law and its executive regulations.

In his speech, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abbas indicated that one of the solutions to address unemployment is to narrow down the disparities in salaries in the labor market, and to support the economy’s ability to optimize the distribution of resources.

Dr. Ghazi Bin Zaqar stressed the importance of procedural governance to monitor and support the labor market, and called for more channels for dialogue and interaction between the ministry and employers and workers.

Dr. Hani Khashoggi called for a study about the causes and obstacles that led to the failure of small and medium enterprises in a way complying with the regulations and policies of the Ministry of Labor and its decisions.

On the other hand, Abdullah Al-Saadoun, another member, praised the ministry’s performance and great efforts in achieving the Kingdom’s Vision, indicating that the ministry should lead the efforts of the ministries of commerce, economy and education in combating and reducing unemployment.

On her part, Dr. Mona Al Mushait praised the role of the ministry in restricting some jobs for Saudis, which provided an opportunity for young men and women to take up jobs in the labor market. She also drew attention to the suffering faced by families from the recruitment offices of domestic workers, in terms of high financial costs and the long waiting period for the arrival of a hired domestic worker.

Prince Dr. Khaled Al-Saud stressed the importance of motivating Saudi youth to work in the retail trade sector, stressing that retail trade is a gateway to entrepreneurship for males and female jobseekers.

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