Muscat: All expat recruitment has been put on freeze by the Ministry of Manpower until after Eid with officials not issuing any new clearances.
As of yesterday, the ministry has stopped dealing with any new clearance transactions until the first working day after the Eid Al Fitr holiday, said a reliable source at the ministry. He explained that the decision targets only new clearance transactions.
However, those who earlier applied for clearance can proceed to the ministry to follow-up with their request.
“This is not new, as the Ministry of Manpower usually carries out such decisions before Eid,” said the source. He also said that this is not a large issue, as it is a matter of waiting only one week.
Salim bin Said Al Ghatami, the head of the economic committee at the State Council, however, said the work should proceed until the last working day.
“I am not with such move and I feel if each unit will disrupt one of its services then half of the government units won’t produce three days before each Eid holiday,” said Al Ghatami.
Responding to that, Rashid Khalfan, who owns a construction company, wondered about the reasons behind such decisions. “The decision does not make any sense. Why do we have to wait for three more days, along with the five Eid Holiday days?” asked Rashid.
Further, he complained that such decisions are handed down without any reasons.
“These three days are working days and if the Ministry of Manpower wants to disturb the work in any of its departments it should explain to the public the reasons behind that.
Similarly, Fawaz Ahmed, who is starting a business, said this is not fair for businessmen and investors.
“I am counting the minutes while I start my business, yet the Ministry of Manpower decides in seconds to waste three working days,” said Fawaz. He added that while it is only three days, for him and other small business owners, the days counts as they pay monthly rents for their business.
“I have been paying the shop rent for the last two months, as I expected to start my business after only one month.
“But now I have to wait for more than one week to resume work on my documents with the authorities,” said Fawaz.
Last week Times of Oman reported how top Omani business men had called for an end to the ‘Come after Eid’ attitude that prevails.
Thasleem Khan, CEO and Managing Director of IPARK, said it is not going to make big impact on the business. “Companies here plan much ahead so I don’t think there would be much impact on the market,” he said.