Al-Eqtissad: Nitaqat to improve employment opportunities for Saudis
Fakeih:Nitaqat to end trade in work visas
Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said the Nitaqat program, which aims to improve employment opportunities for Saudis, would put an end to the trade in work visas.
He added that the program would oblige all private establishments to be in the green band (of meeting Saudization quotas) by employing Saudis and registering them with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI). “Nobody will be exempted from the Nitaqat program,” he warned, revealing that 20 percent of private establishments were in the red band, meaning they are a long way away from meeting their targets.
Fakeih, who was speaking at a press conference here on Monday, denied that the Saudi Electricity Company was in the red band and said with 27,000 Saudi employees, the company has been rated as excellent in the Nitaqat program.
He revealed that the recent royal decrees had asked the ministry to consider reducing working hours in the private sector so that they were in line with the government system, but said a study on the issue was not yet completed.
On the halting of recruitment of housemaids from Indonesia and the Philippines, the minister said the decision was made due to the conditions and demands imposed by the two countries.
“When the two countries lift these conditions, recruitment from them will resume as usual,” he said. He added that agreements concerning the recruitment of foreign manpower would be concluded with governments and parliaments instead of labor committees.
When asked by Arab News if he was confident of ending unemployment, the minister answered: “There is no such thing as an end to unemployment.”
“I just want to give a fair opportunity to the sons and daughters of this country to work. Only about 10 percent of government employees are foreigners while they account for about 90 percent of employees in the private sector,” he said.
The minister said rumors that exit-re-entry visas for workers were turned into final exits at the airports were baseless.