Expats' remittances poised to fall 20% in wake of campaign

Updated 10 November 2013
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Expats' remittances poised to fall 20% in wake of campaign

Outbound remittances of expatriates are poised to fall by more than 20 percent in the wake of crackdowns on illegal workers being jointly carried out by the Ministries of Labor and Interior, bankers and economists told local media.
The remittances will come down to SR95 billion in the next few years compared to more than SR120 billion in past years, banker Fadl Abu Ainain said.
He said the downtrend in the volume of money transfer is linked to two conditions.
First, the Ministry of Labor does not make new (foreign) recruits to compensate the deported foreign work force, and second, there should be strict control on enterprises involved in coverup businesses in different parts of the Kingdom, which is part of the “hidden” economy.
He said nearly 35 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were closed in the aftermath of the correction campaign, as most coverup business cases fall within this sector. Fortunately, this will allow national cadres to work in the closed businesses and keep funds in the country, he said.
The banker called for stricter measures and penalties against illegals without any exceptions adding that price hikes and increased labor wages will be for a limited period.
Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani, an investor in SME projects, said a limited segment of this sector stopped working weeks ago, but reopened with new workers under owners’ sponsorships.
He ruled out any price hikes due to the stoppage of some of those businesses as their number is still surpassing demand in certain services such as laundries, barbershops, eateries and bakeries.
The expat remittances generated from such businesses were high because most of them were run by coverup laborers who made no less than SR30,000 per month, he said.
Former Shoura Council member and head of Economic Studies Center, Abdulaziz Al-Daghestani, said the correction campaigns would have positive results in the long-term though there was some confusion in certain business.
He stressed the importance of strict abidance by laws during the post-correction period.


GCC, global parliamentary groups warn Iran of consequences

GCC Secretary-General Abdullateef Al-Zayani
Updated 1 min 59 sec ago
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GCC, global parliamentary groups warn Iran of consequences

  • Maintaining security and stability in the region is the first priority of the Gulf states
  • Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of UNSC resolution 2216, as a UN panel has already identified missile remnants

RIYADH: A number of parliamentarians from different countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have warned Iran of grave consequences if it continues to indulge in proxy wars with neighboring Arab countries that threaten the peace and stability in the Middle East.

In statements issued on the 37th anniversary of the GCC’s establishment, parliamentarian criticized Iranian role in the Yemen conflict and Tehran’s continued support to the Houthi militias that have so far fired more than 100 ballistic missiles on Saudi Arabia.
“Maintaining security and stability in the region is the first priority of the Gulf states,” said GCC Secretary-General Abdullateef Al-Zayani.
Al-Zayani appreciated “the pivotal role of the Saudi leadership in backing the GCC General Secretariat to achieve the collective goals and implement the resolutions of the Supreme Council.”
He called on Iran “to refrain from meddling in the affairs of Arab nations, and stop supplying arms and ammunition to its Houthi militants to save Yemen from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
The “All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Yemen” in the British Parliament last Wednesday released its annual report on the situation in the war-stricken country, warning, for the first time, of “Iran’s hand in the civil war and its attempt to project power on the Arabian peninsula.”
The APPG observed that “cooperation with non-state actors is an integral part of Iran’s foreign policy through which it seeks to consolidate power across the region.” As examples of this strategy, the group named Iran’s support for the Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah, as well as Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq.
It further noted that “Iran’s stance against the war must be judged in the context of its desire to undermine the Western and Saudi influence in Yemen.”
The British group has warned that Tehran’s arming of the Houthi rebels has led to a “major escalation” in the conflict.
Commenting on these reports, Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a Saudi Shoura Council member, said that “Iran has had complicity in most of the regional conflicts, and the involvement of Tehran has been hampering all efforts to restore peace and security in the Middle East.”
He said: “Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of UNSC resolution 2216, as a UN panel has already identified missile remnants, related military equipment that are of Iranian origin and were/are being used in Yemen.”
“The growing involvement of Iran in the affairs of the Arab nations has led many of its Arab neighbors to distance itself from Tehran,” said Dr. Ibrahim Al-Qayid, the founding member of the National Society of Human Rights (NSHR).
In fact, the Arab League has recently supported Morocco’s decision to sever ties with Iran over its support for the Polisario Front, he said.