Saudi Arabia not to implement minimum wage system
Saudi Labor Minister Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi has dismissed proposals to fix a minimum wage in order to encourage more nationals to join the private sector, saying it would turn the Kingdom’s economy upside down.
According to Arab News, he said the system, acceptable in many states, was not advisable for the kingdom where the number of expatriate workers exceeded the national work force by five to six times.
“No country has implemented separate wage systems for nationals and expatriates. If we implement the minimum wage system for Saudis alone it will be considered a violation of human rights,” the minister was quoted as saying.
“If we implement the minimum wage system, it will turn our economy upside down, create a black market for manpower and double manpower cost,” he said.
“Suppose we fix a minimum wage of SR3,000, it will lead to the closure of most factories here. Even if we fix SR1,000, it will double the salary of domestic servants,” he pointed out. (SR3.75=$1).
Gosaibi emphasized that minimum wage would not help unemployed Saudis.
Gosaibi also pointed out that the government had allocated more than SR1 billion from this year’s huge budget surplus for vocational and technical training of Saudis. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)