Businessmen lament lack of Saudi farm hands

Updated 13 December 2013

Businessmen lament lack of Saudi farm hands

Members of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) have urged the Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih to scrap the 6 percent Saudization quota for the farming sector because of the lack of Saudi laborers.
This appeal was made on Thursday by Eid Al-Ghadeer, chairman of the CSC national agricultural committee, Arab News has learned. Fakeih was locked in a closed meeting with members of the body’s 30 national committees.
However, Al-Ghadeer has asked the minister to retain the Saudization quota for agricultural engineers and administrative staff. The official was also reportedly seeking more work visas for seasonal farmers during harvesting periods.
There are currently 9 million Saudi and foreign workers in the Kingdom, with 48 percent employed in the construction and farming industry. Saudi farmers produce poultry, cattle, sheep and prawns.
Fakeih held a frank discussion with the businessmen at the chamber about the employment problems following the end of the amnesty on Nov. 3, which saw an exodus of illegal workers from the Kingdom, although many workers corrected their job status or found other sponsors.
Prior to the meeting, at the Riyadh Economic Forum on Tuesday, the labor minister said he wanted to hold discussions with members of the private sector to identify new areas of cooperation.
He had announced that he would not take any decisions on Saudi Arabia’s labor laws and policies without a mandate from the people.
He announced the launch of the ministry's "e-Gate" for this purpose.
Fakeih said he would answer any questions asked by members of the public through email. He said a minimum wage for the private and public sectors would be determined soon. A special committee was working on this issue.
Fakeih also said he currently chairs a committee comprising 37 deputy ministers to discuss government contracts and the workforce needed for projects. This was a reference to the shortage of expatriate workers in the construction sector in the wake of the government's crackdown on undocumented workers.


Pregnant women in Saudi Arabia warned to take special care during pandemic

Updated 10 min 28 sec ago

Pregnant women in Saudi Arabia warned to take special care during pandemic

  • The ministry’s recommendations come as many have expressed concerns about the impact of the infection on their health

JEDDAH: Pregnant women have been told to take special care in following precautionary measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Ministry of Health has cautioned, as they are thought to be particularly at risk from complications.

The ministry’s recommendations come as many have expressed concerns about the impact of the infection on their health. The ministry has reiterated the importance of practicing hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing to limit the spread of the virus and wearing a mask in public at all times, especially in areas where it's hard to observe social distancing.

The ministry announced a total of 3,036 new cases of in the Kingdom on Wednesday, bringing to 220,144 the number of people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.

There were 60,035 active cases, 2,263 of them critical.

37 percent of the newly announced cases are female, 63 percent are male. Of those infected, 86 percent were adults of working age, 5 percent were over 65 and 9 percent were children.

3,211 new recovered cases have been announced, taking the total number of recoveries to 158,050, while 42 new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 2,059.

The ministry urges everyone to use the self-assessment service in the “Mawid” application or to visit Tataman clinics that have been set up by the ministry for those who feel they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms; there are 237 such clinics.

It also recommends calling 937, its central operator, for consultations and inquiries around the clock.