Seasonal visas for farm workers



JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Published — Friday 5 July 2013

Last update 8 July 2013 8:06 am

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Ten new manpower supply companies have been licensed to meet the requirements of farmers and other businesses, Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said yesterday.
“These companies can supply manpower required by date palm farmers in Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom,” he said while unveiling plans to issue seasonal visas to meet the needs of farmers.
Speaking to reporters after holding talks with Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, he said: “We discussed the labor shortage facing date palm farmers in Qassim, and the ideal solution is to approach manpower supply agencies to recruit workers.”
Speaking about the delays caused during the correction process, he said it was quite natural that the Jawazat would take more time to finish works because many foreigners had to complete the fingerprinting process. “With regard to the Labor Ministry, I would say most of our work is done electronically,” he said.
Fakeih reiterated the ministry’s efforts to create more jobs for Saudi men and women to eradicate unemployment. “I came to Qassim to inform the governor, government officials and businessmen about the ministry’s present and future programs and its achievements. We also want to know the reality on the ground in order to make necessary changes in our programs and to make them more effective.”
Prince Faisal emphasized the importance of the minister’s visit to the region and said it would contribute to improving services being extended by the ministry to citizens. He commended the ministry’s efforts to reorganize the country’s labor market.
Fakeih said the four-month extension of the amnesty would be enough to correct the status of remaining foreign workers in the country. He warned that the Labor and Interior Ministries would conduct joint raids to track down violators soon after the amnesty ends on Nov. 3.
Meanwhile, a number of Saudi businessmen have commended Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for extending the amnesty deadline in response to requests made by citizens and businesses.
“The extension came at the right time,” said businessman Abdul Aziz Hanafi. “A large number of foreign workers had turned up to correct their status and the government felt that people have taken the matter seriously,” he said, and commended the good work of foreign missions.
Muhyuddin Hekami, assistant secretary-general of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the extension would have good impact on businesses. “It will also help companies save a lot of money, which they had to spend on recruitment of workers.”

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