The Economic Committee head highlighted the efforts of the Council in this regard, noted that the study had accomplished during the last term on "challenges of developing the private sector and labour market policies."
The Council approved the proposal, and took into consideration the comments of the honourable members.
Subsequently, the Council discussed the proposal submitted by the Economic Committee titled, “Promoting Entrepreneurship and Local Added Value."
The committee head clarified that the importance of the study is related to the circulation of money within the local economy and achieving the largest possible value to supply the diversity of growth sources for the business sector and investment in the local market and the optimal exploitation of the available resources in the various sectors such as manufacturing industries, oil and gas, minerals, fish wealth, airports, ports, communications, electricity and other sectors.
The statement indicated that the study concluded that the added local value is one of the most important tools that can be relied upon to achieve economic diversification and generate more employment opportunities.
The statement concluded that the results of the several committee hostings confirmed that the experience of local added value in the Sultanate still needs to develop a comprehensive view of the foundations, principles and standards in the framework of developing the capabilities and skills necessary to integrate the local added value in the government procurement system, increasing the capacity of local companies and support innovation and localization of local technology, in addition to the necessity of developing a comprehensive knowledge about the local added value in terms of goals and definitions, adopting standards and specifications, and unifying the program at the level of sectors and targeted activities.
The Council next discussed the proposal to study "Bank Loans and Insurances" submitted by the working group formed for this purpose.
Hon. Dr. Saeed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, head of the working group explained that the banking sector is working to provide cash liquidity to individuals to secure their personal needs through loans.
This is in accordance with many conditions and controls that must be taken into account while submitting a loan application. He stated that age is one of the most important factors that determine the loan amount and its duration, the higher the age of the individual, the loan amount is smaller, indicating that the current banks policy often prevents lending to individuals over the age of sixty, in accordance with the provisions of the Omani legislation which refer such existing employees to retirement.
He said that based on the procedures followed when reaching the retirement age by deducting and reducing the monthly salary, the banks intend to follow a special policy towards this age group in society, as some banks refrain from providing any loan, whether it is personal loan or other loans, despite the absence of any legislation prohibiting age discrimination in obtaining insurance services and bank and credit loans.
He said that the proposal aims to review the policies and legislations of the Central Bank of Oman and the Capital Market Authority for Insurance and Lending for those who are over the age of sixty years, and to submit proposals that ensure the preservation of the rights of that category, and to review the reasons for the reluctance of commercial banks to lend to Omani workers in private sector who receive salary below OMR500.
The sitting reviewed several reports, including the report submitted by Hon. Sheikh Ali bin Nassir bin Hamad Al Mahrouqi and Hon. Dr. Hasan Ali Mohammed Al Madhani pertaining to the third session of the Arab Parliament and its standing committees and in addition reviewed study submitted by the Information and Research Centre at the Council on, “The environmental impact of development projects of the Sultanate of Oman - Sociological treatment of the environment.”