Labor fees raise prices

Updated 15 December 2012
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Labor fees raise prices

The Consumer Protection Association (CPA) reported a rise in consumer prices after the Ministry of Labor implemented its fee on foreign labor.
The chief executive of the Consumer Protection Association, Nasser Al-Toam, said his organization noticed prices rose in the wake of the Ministry of Labor’s decision to charge businesses an annual fee of SR 2,400 on each foreign worker.
Al-Toam said: “Price hikes were observed in some women’s shops, in the construction sector, and at car wash stations.” The CPA is currently reviewing these cases and will follow them up and report on the findings, he said.
“The decision to charge a fee on foreign labor was taken in haste and it will have negative implications for the consumer, as well as psychological, social and economic effects,” he added.
“If we look at the economic impact of the decision, inflation will impact the whole business sector and the consumer will have to bear the burden of the additional SR 15 billion in fees,” he said.
He demanded human rights organizations and the Shoura Council to intervene and challenge the charges.
“Most merchants have already begun to raise prices, while others say they cannot continue to bear the burden themselves. As a result, the consumer will no doubt have to pay for this decision,” he added.
Al-Toam said: "We are experiencing a decision-making crisis where no parties are consulted. There should be a gradual implementation of any decision like this, as well as alternative options. The ministry acknowledges some businesses do not employ Saudis at all, so I wonder why they are not subject to the same decision? Why do we deal with a wrong-doing with an even greater one?” he said.
The ministry will look into compensating those affected, he said, but this is not the right way to address the situation. No standards have been defined around this decision and will lead to corruption in some cases.
He said the decision to pay compensation is irrational and without foundation, and is just a waste of resources.
Al-Toam said various ministry departments could utilize their resources and work together to control consumer prices.
He hoped the Royal Court would intervene and freeze the decision until the impact of the fees on the consumer can be properly gauged.


Saudi Arabia’s air defense intercepts Houthi ballistic missile fired towards Jazan

In this file photo, Saudi forces can be seen repelling a Houthi attack in Najran, near the Yemen border. (Reuters)
Updated 20 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s air defense intercepts Houthi ballistic missile fired towards Jazan

  • Earlier this week, Saudi air defenses shot down a previous ballistic missile attack by the Houthis
  • The incident happened hours after the coalition warned of a “painful” response if the Houthis mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia

Saudi air defense forces managed to intercept a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militias from Yemen headed in the direction of Saudi Arabia’s border province of Jazan on Friday.

Earlier this week, Saudi air defenses shot down a previous ballistic missile attack by the Houthis.

Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the coalition's spokesman, said the missile was monitored by the Saudi Air Force to have been launched from Yemen's Amran province at 10:16 p.m. Monday toward populated areas in the southern Saudi province of Najran.

The missile was intercepted before it could hit its target, Al-Maliki said.

The incident happened hours after the coalition warned of a “painful” response if the Houthis mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia using what it said were Iran-supplied drones.

So far, the Houthis have launched over 100 missiles at Saudi cities and installations.