Nitaqat to enforce minimum salaries for citizens

Nitaqat to enforce minimum salaries for citizens
Updated 28 December 2012

Nitaqat to enforce minimum salaries for citizens

Nitaqat to enforce minimum salaries for citizens

Saudi employees in the private sector receiving salaries of SR 1,500 are viewed as “half workers” in their companies’ Saudization records in the Nitaqat system, while Saudis receiving less than that amount are not included at all when calculating their firms’ Saudization percentage, said Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih at a press conference in Riyadh yesterday.
The minister said the Cabinet’s decision to regulate the calculation of monthly wages will be implemented by Feb. 2, 2013 and will be aimed at improving work environment and tackling the issue of low wages. It will stipulate a minimum wage of SR 3,000 for Saudis and specify conditions for calculating Saudization quotas.
According to the decision, only Saudis who receive the minimum wage are included as one Saudi worker in a firm’s Saudization record under Nitaqat. The way to calculate the Saudization quota in the case of having Saudi workers receiving less than the minimum wage will be specified when the decision is implemented.
The decision will benefit those working on a part-time basis, students, those with disabilities who are able to work and released prisoners, said the minister, adding that the ministerial decision was announced three months ago, which gave establishments a period of five months to take the necessary measures.
According to a ministry statement to SPA, the Wage Protection Program will be implemented gradually by March 1, 2013. The ministry will enforce the program by requiring companies to file their employees’ wage data. Firms that delay the filing of their wages data for two months will be subject to sanctions that include denying them all of the ministry’s services except for work licenses service. If the delay was for more than 3 months, with the continuation of blocking the ministry services, the late companies’ workers will be allowed to transfer their services to other employers without their approval.
The ministry said the decision will be implemented according to the following schedule: Firms with 3,000 workers or more will be required to file the data by June 1, companies with 2,000 workers or more will be required to do so by Sept. 2, establishments with 1,000 workers or more will be required to file their wages data by Dec. 3. Those with 500 workers or more, 200 workers or more and 100 workers or more will be obliged to file their data by March 4, 2014, July 5, 2014 and Oct. 6, 2014, respectively.
On Sunday, the minister said the decision to impose a monthly SR 200 fee for each foreign worker includes only firms employing more foreigners than Saudis. (If a company’s number of foreign workers exceeds the number of Saudis then they will be included in the decision. Even with companies having more foreigners than Saudis the fees are only imposed on the excess number of workers. Others who have more Saudis than foreigners will not be included in the new fees decision.)
He said that after the fees decision, another one increasing government support for Saudis’ salaries in the private sector from SR 2,000 to SR 4,000 (amounts the government pays as part of each Saudi employee’s salary in private companies) will follow. The support period will be also extended from two to four years, he said.
The minister spoke in a meeting with the public in a Jeddah hotel after he did the same in Riyadh about two weeks ago.
He said that about 11 percent of small establishments in the country are thought to be involved in visa trafficking, and that 31 percent of them (small establishments in the country) cover up illegal labor (Tasattur, cover up businesses).
There are countries where a foreign worker has to pay SR 20,000 annually to be allowed to work in the country, he said as he commented on the new labor fees. The new fees’ revenues would cover the expenses of Hafez unemployment program by 2015. Foreign labor in the Kingdom cost the country SR 23 billion annually, six times the amount disbursed for the training of Saudis, he said.
The minister said the fees decision would only marginally affect the purchasing power. "Traders' talks of 'damage' to the economy and 'price hikes' is only an exaggeration,” he said, stressing that members of society have to collaborate with the authorities to combat unemployment and price hikes.
“The meeting was open and public interest was the theme of it. The minister explained the new fee decision, then allowed discussions and took questions. He did not use the meeting to impose his view,” said one of the attendees.


Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh metro, under construction
Updated 15 April 2021

Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh’s metro system is expected to partially operate by end of this year.

When fully operational it will comprise six lines with a total length of 176 kilometers, plus 85 stations.


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 15 April 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 386,102
  • A total of 6,791 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 985 new infections on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 463 were recorded in Riyadh, 164 in Makkah, 140 in the the Eastern Province, 34 in Asir, 33 in Hail, 30 in Madinah, 21 in Jazan, 20 in Tabuk, 16 in Najran, 11 in the Northern Borders region, and six in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 386,102 after 661 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,791 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 6.6 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saudi Arabia to date.
The health ministry earlier called on people to attend their vaccine appointments and said that those who miss their appointment will be required to book another one.


Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia
Updated 15 April 2021

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition destroyed five ballistic missiles and four explosive-laden drones launched by Houthis toward Saudi Arabia, Al-Ekhbariya reported on Thursday.
The attacks targeting Jazan are the latest in a long line of hostile actions against the Kingdom by the Iran-back Houthi militia. 
Jazan University was one of the targets as well as other civilian sites protected under international humanitarian law, coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki said in a statement on the Saudi Press Agency, adding that the actions amount to war crimes.
The attacks originated from Sa’dah governorate in Yemen, Al-Malki added.
The coalition said the attack is a continuation of the Houthis’ systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians. 
The Houthis, who took over the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, in 2014, have been condemned for their actions against the Kingdom. 
The Saudi government has said the Houthi attacks are not only against the  Kingdom and its economic facilities, but rather the center of the global economy, the security of its exports and its oil supplies, while also affecting maritime navigation.

Saudi Arabia has consistently backed efforts to resolved the war in Yemen peacefully.
Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held talks with Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, and reiterated that the Kingdom supports “all efforts to end the conflict, implement a cease-fire, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and reach a political resolution that guarantees peace and prosperity for the brotherly people of Yemen.”
In March, Saudi Arabia announce a peace initiative to help end a war that has ravaged Yemen for the last six years. The initiative, which has received wide support, includes a cease-fire supervised by the UN, the reopening of Sanaa airport, and new talks to reach a political resolution to the conflict. Restrictions on the Red Sea port of Hodeidah would also be eased, allowing access for ships and cargo.
The UN’s chief, Antonio Guterres, backed the deal and urged all sides to take this opportunity to pursue peace and work with his special envoy, Martin Griffiths, on ways to proceed “in good faith and without preconditions.”


Yemen’s information minister, Moammar Al-Eryani, said members of the international community with open channels to the Houthis must use their leverage to encourage it to sever ties with Iran and commit to the Saudi-led peace initiative.
“These countries must put pressure on the Houthis to stop their daily crimes and violations against civilians in their areas of control, which are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Al-Eryani told Arab News in an interview last week.
A Yemeni news agency reported last month that the Houthis had “provisionally” accepted the Saudi initiative to end the war in Yemen, but were demanding unchecked flights from Sanaa airport to unlimited destinations before giving the peace plan their final approval.
Soleimani’s shadow
Qassem Soleimani left a trail of death and destruction in his wake as head of Iran’s Quds Force … until his assassination on Jan. 3, 2020. Yet still, his legacy of murderous interference continues to haunt the region
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Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden
Updated 15 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden
  • In addition to providing artificial limbs, the facility will also offer maintenance of prosthetics, rehabilitation services and physiotherapy

LONDON: The Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has officially opened an artificial limbs clinic in the Yemeni city of Aden, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Qasim Buhaibeh, the Yemeni minister of public health and population, thanked KSrelief for its work to help the Yemeni people. He also praised the achievement of establishing the prosthetic limb facility, which he said “will contribute to providing medical services and alleviating the suffering of those who are injured and the victims of mines.”

Saleh Al-Dibani, the director of KSrelief in Aden, said the organization has provided the prosthetic limb center with the resources it needs to help 1,434 beneficiaries, including 300 new prosthetic limbs.

A KSrelief worker is seen with young patients at the new prosthetic limb center in Aden. (SPA)

He added that KSrelief is also providing resources for maintenance of prosthetics, rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, and to hire medical staff in coordination with the Yemeni Ministry of Health.

“The project of equipping and preparing artificial limbs is one of the most important projects funded by KSrelief in the governorates of Aden, Taiz, Seiyun and Marib, with the aim of supporting the Yemeni health sector,” said Al-Dibani.

The center is part of the framework of humanitarian and relief efforts being provided by Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, to the Yemeni people.


Saudi scientific organization launches first observatory to monitor and anticipate future development in Kingdom

Saudi scientific organization launches first observatory to monitor and anticipate future development in Kingdom
Updated 15 April 2021

Saudi scientific organization launches first observatory to monitor and anticipate future development in Kingdom

Saudi scientific organization launches first observatory to monitor and anticipate future development in Kingdom

RIYADH: The Asbar Center for Studies, Research and Communications announced the launch of the Asbar Observatory on Development, the first of its kind in monitoring and anticipating future development in the Kingdom.
Established in 1994, the Asbar Center is a scientific organization dedicated to conducting studies and research on development and policies.
Dr. Fahad Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, president of the Asbar Center, said the new observatory is one of the center’s initiatives. 
“The idea of launching the observatory comes within the framework of the center’s efforts to keep pace with developments witnessed in various fields in the Kingdom, in order to achieve its ambitious Vision 2030,” he said.
Through the observatory, Al-Harthi noted, the Asbar Center seeks to build a national system that contributes, in cooperation with the responsible authorities, to monitoring development needs and providing information to authorities.
Al-Harthi also said the observatory will assist decision-makers in shaping life in Saudi Arabia and anticipating its future through foresight tools. In preparation for a pioneering developmental journey that supports changes, the observatory will also anticipate future opportunities and challenges by analyzing their effects and developing innovative solutions to them.
“The mechanism of the Asbar Observatory project relies on the work of local and international development indicators,” Al-Harthi said.
“The observatory will focus on monitoring development and issuing reports to the competent authorities on progress, social innovation, sustainable development and social responsibility. It will also issue future forward-looking studies.”
Al-Harthi said he hopes the Asbar Observatory will enhance the Kingdom’s presence in various global fields while maintaining its distinguished international position.