The decision to waive fees for the private sector hailed
Muscat – The President of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) welcomed the decision of the Supreme Committee responsible for dealing with developments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to support private sector institutions and facilitate their recovery thanks to a host of benefits and measures announced last week.
Eng Redha bin Juma al Saleh, president of OCCI, said that the exemption orders issued by the Supreme Committee, in addition to urging banks and financial companies to cooperate with relevant borrowers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to reschedule loans at no cost, “will help stimulate the economy and develop the private sector”.
“This will ensure the continuity of businesses, especially those going through a critical juncture, helping them to withstand the situation and get back on the road,” he said.
The President expressed OCCI’s appreciation for the response of government agencies to requests from OCCI and the private sector to provide support packages and facilities to private sector institutions.
The Supreme Committee, after studying the impact of the pandemic on private sector establishments, decided to waive fines and fees for a number of companies. Some of them are:
Waiver of fines imposed on licenses issued by government departments for various companies included in Annex (1) of the decision, which have expired or are due to expire during the period from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
Some of them are:
- Waiver of fines imposed for the renewal of non-Omani labor cards and associated fines for cards that have expired or are due to expire in the period from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
- Waiver of fines accumulated on various establishments and companies due to the non-renewal of their business registers and licenses, provided that they renew the registers and licenses during the year 2021.
- Allow employers to renew expired work permits for workers who are still abroad, while waiving the corresponding fines resulting from the period from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
- To exempt SMEs from entrepreneurship card renewal fees charged on all business activities that expire in 2021.
The committee also made the following decisions valid until December 31, 2021:
- Granting of work permits in place of workers who have already left for all segments and according to the prescribed fees set for each segment.
- Urge banks and finance companies to cooperate with “affected” borrowers, especially SMEs (Riyada business card holders) by rescheduling loans, without charging fees.
- Free SMEs from registration fees in the “Isnad” system affiliated with the Tenders Commission.
- Relieve SMEs of land usufruct (development) rights and defer reimbursement of unpaid royalties.
- Postponement of reimbursement of SME premiums for holders of Riyada business cards benefiting from previous financing loans from the Al Raffd Fund.
- Waiver of rental fees owed by SME owners for the activities listed in Annex (1) who rent real estate owned by government departments and authorities.
ASMED initiative to support SMEs
In an effort to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASMED) has launched an initiative called Mazaya.
“The initiative aims to provide incentives and facilities to SMEs during the pandemic. The incentives include providing all necessary services to owners of SMEs registered with the authority, ”said an ASMED official.
“The initiative targets sectors such as real estate, finance, insurance, travel, tourism, hospitality, health, communications, interior design, education, management and others. There are approximately 22,571 small and medium enterprises that hold the “Riyada card” in the various governorates of the sultanate. The authority urges the owners of these businesses to join this initiative.
Speaking of ASMED’s efforts, he said, “The authority recently signed an agreement with Al Noman wholesale market in China to provide 16 outlets within the market to support SMEs in China. south of Batinah.
According to the official, the agreement will offer a number of benefits to SME owners, such as a rent exemption for a period of four months, a 45% reduction in rent and technical assistance for the use of equipment imported from China.
On April 4, the authority also launched a new program called Raqmna – which translates to “digitization” – in partnership with Google Developer Group. The program aimed to train 25 SMEs over a three-month period.
“The program aimed to support and empower SMEs by changing their technological pathways, accelerating digital transformation, improving the competitiveness of the sector and providing high quality products and services,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the total number of SMEs registered with ASMED at the end of June 2021 stood at 54,726, compared to 44,448 in the same period of 2020, an increase of 23.1%, according to data released by the National Center for Statistics and Statistics. Information.