Go Saudi or go to jail: Warning for violators of new Saudization law

Published March 21st, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry suspects up to 60 percent of mobile phone shops are cover-up businesses for expatriates. (AFP/File)
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry suspects up to 60 percent of mobile phone shops are cover-up businesses for expatriates. (AFP/File)

The violators of the recent ministerial decision to Saudize mobile phone and its accessory shops as well as its maintenance outlets will face severe punishment, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The violators will be imprisoned for up to two years, non-Saudis will be deported, employer will be fined up to SR1 million, he will be shamed in the press, his commercial record will be canceled, and he will be prevented from investing in the telecommunication sector for up to five years.

The Ministry of Labor announced earlier this month that it will ban foreign workers from selling and maintaining mobile phones and accessories for them.

Stores selling mobile communications devices will have to ensure that at least 50 percent of staff doing such work are Saudi citizens in three months’ time, the ministry said. Six months from now, the required ratio will rise to 100 percent.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that from July 2 — the deadline to Saudize the telecom sector — it will inspect commercial establishments to catch any violators.

It is anticipated that 60% of mobile phone, its accessory and maintenance shops are cover-up businesses in which a Saudi provides a floor for expatriates to invest.

Economist Ali Al-Ahmari noted that those businesses are expected to leave the market soon. He noted that these shops are opened under the name employers’ wives who get monthly payment from expatriates.

In this context the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation noted that its mobile sales and repairing training is helping over 33,000 Saudis of both genders.

Fahad Al-Otaibi, spokesman of the TVTC, noted that the training for mobile repairing is the most in demand followed by sales and customer service.

This sector is expected to provide job opportunities to 20,000 Saudis. The training is open to unemployed Saudis above 18 years of age.

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