MUSCAT: Oman said it would extend curbs on the hiring of foreign workers in construction and housekeeping as part of efforts to save more jobs for local citizens and limit outflows of money from the economy.
Hiring of expatriates by private companies in those two sectors will be banned for six months from May 4, the official Oman News Agency (ONA) quoted Minister of Manpower Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri as saying on Monday.
The ban was originally introduced for a six-month period last November. Similar restrictions exist for several other industries such as carpentry and aluminium product making. It is not clear how much of an impact the ban will have; exceptions to the policy will be made for companies working on government projects, smaller enterprises and firms managed full-time by their owners, ONA reported.
Sheikh Abdullah’s order suggests growing concern in the government about the economy’s dependence on foreign workers. Expatriate workers in Oman rose to 1.53 million in February from 1.47 million registered a year earlier, government data shows. Reuters