Ministry takes steps to Saudize baqalas

Ministry takes steps to Saudize baqalas
Updated 01 December 2014

Ministry takes steps to Saudize baqalas

Ministry takes steps to Saudize baqalas

The Ministry of Labor intends to nationalize the retail sector, especially baqalas (corner shops), in various parts of the Kingdom by setting up cooperative consumer societies, a ministry official said.
The move comes following a Cabinet decision that has taken into consideration the monopoly of expatriates on some commercial activities. The Cabinet had also advised the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to apply anti-tasattur regulations against expat-run baqalas.
The Ministries of Labor and Interior continue to nationalize commercial activities, making good returns, the official said, adding that cooperative societies would be able to fight monopolies and fraud.
“They can also work as marketing outlets for national products, such as fruits and vegetables supplied by agricultural cooperative societies,” the official said.
Establishing cooperative consumer societies is a task recently undertaken by a number of government bodies such as the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Social Affairs, Municipal and Rural Affairs, Finance, Labor and other government bodies.
Some of the obstacles facing these societies include the high leasing prices of commercial facilities and the bureaucracy of some government agencies. “The goal is to bring 100 shops under a cooperative society, which will encourage young Saudis to enter this promising sector,” the official pointed out.
Officials estimate the net profits from a baqala at SR500 a day, or no less than SR15,000 a month. Abdulmunim Al-Shahri, director general of the Labor Ministry branch in Makkah, said the cooperative consumer society system hasn’t been implemented in the Western Province. The Ministry of Labor always tries to adopt a number of initiatives for entrepreneurs and youth.