Salalah: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Husn Palace in the Wilayat of Salalah, Governorate of Dhofar on Thursday.
At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to Allah the Almighty for the riches with which He endowed Oman. He expressed gratitude to the Almighty for the accomplishments in all aspects of life in Oman made over the past five decades, inspiring the forward march of the country’s future. He prayed to Allah the Almighty to crown the good efforts with success.
His Majesty the Sultan greeted Omani citizens and expatriates on the occasion of the 52nd Glorious National Day. He prayed to Allah for a happy comeback of this glorious occasion and similar occasions at a time Oman and its noble people are blessed with further progress, prosperity and tranquility.
His Majesty the Sultan valued the sincere sentiments, prayers and greetings of citizens and residents in all parts of Oman on this auspicious occasion. He commended citizens’ and residents’ joy and celebration of the national occasion in the Governorate of Dhofar, describing the manifestations as a source of pride and an evidence of allegiance and gratitude.
Then, His Majesty the Sultan explored local, regional and international developments, commenting on them as follows:
His Majesty the Sultan took note of the Council of Ministers’ keenness to monitor and follow up financial indicators in light of positive results achieved by the National Fiscal Balance Programme, which contributed to maintaining the safe financial position of Oman. In this context, His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to launch the National Fiscal Sustainability and Financial Development Programme for a period of three years starting in January 2023. The objective is to make the financial sector a basic enabler for the growth of investments, as well as the economy, in a manner that secures the continuation of all development programmes.
After the Council of Ministers elaborated on the economic performance, the 10th Five Year Plan and projects endorsed for implementation within the duration of the plan, His Majesty the Sultan instructed the units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus to double efforts towards the achievement of best results in economic diversification sectors, with the aim of motivating the economy in a greater scale and realise the 10th Five Year Plan’s target growth rates.
His Majesty the Sultan underscored the importance of completing development projects endorsed for the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) and the finalisation of the projects as scheduled and within their approved budgets.
His Majesty the Sultan also gave directives for the execution of additional development projects alongside projects endorsed for execution during the 10th Five Year Plan, as listed below:
Works on the Sultan Qaboos Dual-carriageway in Salalah; the restoration of rainwater drainage system in the same carriageway; and the construction of a multi-purpose port in the Wilayat of Masirah.
Following the Council of Ministers’ keenness to continue offering necessary support and alleviate the impacts of inflation on citizens’ livelihoods, His Majesty the Sultan gave instructions to endorse a number of initiatives as follows:
1. The promotion of 2012 government employees of the civil service system and other systems who are eligible for promotion, effective 2023.
2. Fixing vehicle fuel prices in accordance with October 2021 rates, as a maximum ceiling, until the end of 2023.
3. Extending the job security gratuity for citizens whose services are terminated within Oman until the end of June 2023.
4. Waiving of housing loan outstanding of employees and retirees of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) who get less than OMR450 per month. This follows the norm of writing off outstanding loans of citizens who are beneficiaries of housing loans provided by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning.
In pursuance of efforts made to revise government service fees, the Council of Ministers reviewed the outcome of the second phase of the government services pricing guide project. It was agreed to cancel, reduce and merge an additional set of government service fees in a manner that ensures support for the activities of the economic sectors, enhances the competitiveness of the national economy and streamlines the completion of government procedures.
After the Council of Ministers listened to the executive position of initiatives related to jobs and the National Employment Programme, His Majesty the Sultan underscored the significance of authorities’ coordinating with the various sectors towards the realisation and follow up of employment objectives and the acceleration of execution and support of approved employment initiatives in various sectors.
As part of the Cabinet’s follow-up of preparations and organisational procedures for the municipal councils’ elections for the third term, scheduled to take place on 25 December 2022, His Majesty the Sultan commended the efforts made by authorities concerned to develop and simplify the electoral process to enable voters to cast their votes with ease.
His Majesty the Sultan laid emphasis on the roles of municipal councils within the framework of the powers granted to them. He stressed the importance of integration of these roles with the ones undertaken by governors, with the prime aim of developing governorates.
His Majesty the Sultan also touched on a number of issues related to regional and international developments.
His Majesty stressed the fundamentals of Oman’s foreign policy, which espouse the approach of dialogue, peace and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan spoke about several of aspects of interest to the country and citizens. He wished all success in realisation the good of the nation.