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200 riyals a month... anti-Saudization fee!

The Saudi Ministry of Labor decided a new fee on private sector investors. The fee of SR 200 a month (SR 2400 a year) will be collected soon. Once the records prove that any establishment or company did not meet the minimum requirement of Saudization percentage, the fee is due on each non-Saudi.
The expected outcome of such a decree is SR 16 billion a year. This number raises a very old question that says: Would hiring non-Saudi labor remain worthy?
I believe that it is going to have a direct influence on small business projects and young Saudi investors. Think of restaurants, laundries, workshops and small stores! It wouldn’t be surprising if many of them had to close down and quit the business. Such business relies mainly on one Saudi, or two, running the place, with the help of 2-5 non-Saudis.
Again, over generalization takes on, and many promising youth efforts are hunted on the way. Huge business tycoons and young investors are never the same. The big money makers in Saudi Arabia can afford such a fee easily, and I believe they should, for many reasons. But what about those who succeeded in creating medium and small business streams? Did the Ministry of Labor plan something better for them and if not, who will replace them once they are lost for good?

— The writer is Chairman, Saudi Cartoon & Animation Society
Twitter: @abdullahsayel
e-mail: [email protected]