No More Expats in Baqalas – Only Saudis to be allowed to work in Grocery Stores

Rapid changes are taking place in Saudi Arabia. We have seen that Saudi Arabian government is giving priority to its citizens now. With the implementation of expat dependent fee and localization of many jobs, it seems like Saudi Arabia is concerned about its national.  This is not something bad either, a government has to first cater its own nationals. It’s not that we are closing doors for Foreigners, it’s just that we are opening avenues for our citizens. Another bold step being planned by the Saudi Arabian government is the localization of jobs at the grocery stores. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has prepared a draft that briefs that non-Saudis shall no longer be employed at grocery stores. Shops selling confections and consumable items also fall under the same jurisdiction.[irp]

So soon you will be seeing no foreign worker at such shops and stores. All the workers there will be Saudis. There is no quota for expats, 100% of jobs in grocery stores would be allocated to Saudis.  The basic intention behind such a step is to open up employment opportunities towards Saudis which can, unfortunately, only be done by closing down job avenues for the foreigners. According to sources claims, by localizing the grocery stores we can open up 20,000 job opportunities for our nationals.   Similarly, if we impose the same limitation of localization upon the food, juice and soft drinks vans, 6,000 Saudis would seek employment. The ministry is in its phase of considering this option as well.

This step shall help boost employment rates of Saudis. Localization of sectors has been done in the near past which has provided us with fruitful results. The ministry claims that 8,000 Saudis got employed after the telecom sector limited its job towards Saudi nationals only. These included the repairing, maintaining and selling of mobile phones. 7,500 medical staff (consisting of nurses and doctors) and technicians, all of them being Saudis of course, were hired on contractual basis in various government hospitals and medical & healthcare centers. The ministry is hopeful that by the end of 2020, the health sector shall absorb employment of 93,000 Saudi males and females. 

The ministry assures that with localization of the car rental offices, 5,000 Saudis shall be enjoying the status of being employed.  Recently the Shoura Council, an official advisory body, appealed the ministries of labor and social development and municipal and rural affairs to enforce the closure of small stores. Instead, the license should only be provided to large stores that can employ a greater number of our Saudi nationals.[irp]

The Shoura Council believes that this step will not only be beneficial for the economy but also a great social issue would be resolved. The Tasattur (where on paying a fee a non-Saudi can do a business in name of a Saudi) shall be wiped out! Things are changing rapidly and we hope that these steps would bring in fruitful results as per our expectations!

Source: Arab News

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