MUSCAT: Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, issued a ministerial decision regarding Omanisation of areas such as custom clerk, custom clearance clerk, custom clearance agent and custom clearance broker jobs. The report added that labour permits and IDs issued for holders of these professions will remain valid till their expiry dates and will not be renewed thereafter.
The decision comes in a bid by the Ministry of Manpower to offer new job opportunities for Omanis in the private sector. The decision will protect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) against competition by expatriates.
Giving details, Joy, an agent dealing with imports and exports, told the Observer that most of these jobs are already handled by Omanis. “It may be possible that some of the old timers were getting visa renewed, which will be completely stopped now.”
Ismail, a cargo agent in Muscat, too agreed that most of these jobs are handled already by Omanis.
“He is not sure about any expatriates who are old timers dealing with such jobs.”
A key personnel who has more than three decades of experience in shipping and logistics field hailed the move but raised concerns over sudden implementation.
“We are following strict Omanisation policy of 78 per cent in all our offices. The fact is that we need to employ additional manpower to get the assigned work done because of lack of initiative. As it is, the costs of shipping have shot up manifold as operations were moved to Sohar Port let alone the extra time consumed and delays in clearing,” he said.
Suresh Kumar, General Manager of Al Fayha Shipping Company, says heftier fines and loss of business will be outcome if adequate training and orientation is not imparted to the semi-skilled cargo staff.
“Lack of consistency and absence of experience are two major challenges we face with the recruits in a highly time-bound operations of shipping sector.”
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER