Oman’s Commerce and Industry Minister has issued a Ministerial Decision amending the classification of SMEs in the Sultanate. The aim is to take account of the classification of these establishments in other GCC states. It means these entities will be classified according to their workforce and revenue. Under the new classification, a micro establishment will have one to ten employees and its annual revenues will be less than 150,000 Rials. A small establishment will have 11 to 50 employees and an annual revenue of between 150,000 and 1,250,000 Rials. A medium establishment will have 51-150 employees and an annual revenue of between 1,250,000 and five million Rials.
Oman’s Manpower Ministry has issued a clarification on reports of pay being cut by 50%. The Ministry was responding to reports in other media saying employers were cutting pay by 50% instead of 30%. The Ministry said the Supreme Anti-Coronavirus Committee has not approved a percentage cut to employee pay once an employee has used up all their paid annual leave. Once the paid annual leave has been used up employers can negotiate reductions in their pay for three months. Any reductions must be accompanied by a reduction in working time.
Oman’s Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership has approved the Implementing Regulations to the Sultanate’s Public Private Partnership Law. Among other things, the Implementing Regulation specifies how these projects should be carried out. The Authority was established under Oman Sultani Decree No. 54/2019.
The Omani Police have announced customs clearing requirements will be relaxed. The aim is to help the commercial sector. Given the current circumstances in the country and the world, customs clearing requirements will be relaxed. Under the new requirements, imported goods can be cleared even when the importer is unable to provide the relevant documents and certificates from the source country.
Oman’s State Council is considering a draft hidden trade law. If approved, it will help companies identify loopholes and boost Omanisation across various sectors. Hidden trade occurs when a company is owned on paper by an Omani national but, in practice is run by someone else. This person does not create employment for the company’s employees but instead makes them find their own jobs while still being employed by the company. Under the new law, those found guilty of engaging in hidden trade will be punished. The State Council will review the draft law and then refer it back to the Council’s Economic Committee.
Oman’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has announced companies must operate in the sector or sectors they were licensed to operate in. Those who do not comply will be punished in line with the country’s legal and regulatory regime. They could even be shut down. They must also dissolve and liquidate in line with the appropriate laws and regulations.
Oman’s Transport Ministry has announced it has launched a National Aviation Strategy 2030. The aim is to strengthen the economy by improving the aviation industry in the Sultanate. The Strategy will help develop an effective organisational framework to boost support and develop the aviation sector, strengthen the country’s economy and create jobs. It will also boost marketing and operational support for Oman Air and restructure the company. It will also establish Airport Cities to help the country cope with the anticipated increase in tourist numbers. Finally, it will support aviation operations by logistics companies. Among other things, a logistics service regional centre will be established for international companies.
The Omani authorities have announced small businesses have been exempted from 100% foreign ownership under the Sultanate’s Foreign Investment Law. Businesses which are included are translations, photocopying, tailoring, laundry, vehicle repairs, transporting and selling drinking water. It also covers manpower and recruitment services, hairdressing and salon services, taxi services, driving instructions, fishing and rehabilitation homes for the elderly, disabled and orphans. The aim is to make investing in the country more attractive but protect Oman’s small businesses.
Oman’s Environment and Climate Affairs Ministry has proposed banning plastic bags early next year. If the proposal is approved by the Commerce and Industry Ministry next year it will be introduced within the same timeframe. It will mean companies, factories, shops and those who use single-use plastic bags will have to replace them with environmentally-friendly ones within one year of the Decision.
The Technology and Innovation Committee in the Council of State has discussed a study on the relevance of the Anti-Information Technology Crime Law (Oman Sultani Decree No. 12/2011) to the rapid technical developments and its social and economic impact in Oman. The discussion took place during the first annual session of the seventh term.