Expat levy exemptions hailed by EP chamber

Expat levy exemptions hailed by EP chamber
Updated 12 July 2014

Expat levy exemptions hailed by EP chamber

Expat levy exemptions hailed by EP chamber

The Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry has praised the government for exempting certain small businesses from paying the expatriate levy of SR2,400 a year.
Abdul Hakim bin Hamad Amar, chairman of the contractors committee and board member of the chamber, was referring to the June 23 decision by the Council of Ministers, aimed at growing the small business sector in the country.
The exemption covers foreigners married to Saudis and their children. The Cabinet also set up a ministerial committee to determine, within three months, compensation for firms that signed contracts with the government prior to Nov. 15, 2012, when the expat levy was imposed.
Small businesses were exempted from the levy on condition that their Saudi owners work full time for their firms.
Speaking during a meeting of the contractors committee on Wednesday, Amar urged the government to consider paying compensation to companies at the end of every year, rather than when their contracts are completed.
He said some government contracts could last up to five years, especially for maintenance, cleaning and large-scale construction projects. This would help ease financial pressure on companies, he said.
Meanwhile, Amar called on the government to sign all contracts with contractors based on criteria set out by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), which is an international standards organization for the construction industry.
He said this would solve the problem of delayed and stalled projects in the Kingdom. It would also reassure all contracted parties. He said the government recently used the FIDIC contract model for its public transport system in Makkah.
He said it was important to apply this model to the rest of the country's projects, given that the most common reason for faltering projects was the awarding of contracts to the cheapest contractor or subcontractors.
Amar said the committee also discussed the most important developments in the sector during the meeting, including those related to workers, and how to get contractors to overcome industry challenges.