Sultan Qaboos orders increase in salaries of individuals under social insurance system

Sultan of Oman orders launching of Majlis al-Shura nominations

Omani finance minister says new bonuses cost $2.5 billion

Citizens who meet the requirement for nomination as per Article No. 10 of the organizational bylaw of the Shura Council election issued by ministerial decision No. 26/2003 can contest the Council elections by submitting their applications at the offices the respective walis, His Excellency Sayyid Hamoud Bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior, announced.

Duly filled forms, along with required documents, should be submitted from March 26 to April 12. No forms will be accepted after the last date and it should be submitted to the walis office only.

This is as per the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said regarding the re-opening of nominations to the seventh Shura Council elections in the follow-up to the Royal Decree No. 39/2011 to grant Legislative and regulatory powers for the Council of Oman, he added.

The Council of Ministers raised the subsidy and fixed the prices on some commodities to check the price rise. More funds were also allocated to the respective departments to meet the higher subsidy.

The Council’s extraordinary session reviewed the Royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said aimed at promoting social development, especially in addressing the global price rise and its implications for the Sultanate.

The Council also discussed an action plan to improve the insurance system for the Social Security families. Oman Tribune has been reporting that the Council will discuss the issues related to Social Security families.

The Council also decided to form a committee to follow up the steps. The committee will submit its report to the Council.

The Council also discussed issues relating to agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing and the follow-up action needed.

The Council of Ministers assured citizens they were awake and would dedicate their full efforts to serve them and reduce their sufferings.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance, in a follow-up to the Royal Orders issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said on March 13, 2011, on the increase in monthly pension has notified that the Royal Orders include all pensioners from the military and security set-up.

His Highness Sayyid Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers hailed the qualitative and quantitative development witnessed by the Omani media and the efforts undertaken by the local newspapers to present views and ideas.

In his meeting with editors-in-chief of local newspapers and magazines and senior media officials in the presence of HE Hamed Bin Mohammed Al Rashdi, Information Minister, and HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Shuwain Al Hosni, Undersecretary at the Information Ministry, Fahd said the modern media is not only a means of transmitting news but rather a very important interactive process that enhances communication among officials and citizens and enhances the social dialogue so that everyone can shoulder his national responsibilities.

He said that education and awareness are among the major task of media men so that every citizen feels that he is not living alone and that there are some people who care for him, listen to his views, aspirations and transmit it honestly.

At the same time, it provides that piece of information which may not be known to him to rest assured about his present and future.

Fahd affirmed that the meeting provides the opportunity to identify the challenges facing the Omani media and how to overcome them.

Referring to the events in the Sultanate Fahd pointed out that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said is a wise leader who managed to guide Oman to the highest ranking of glory, progress and good reputation. “We should all preserve the achievements in which the loyal people of Oman took part,” he added.

The deputy prime minister also said that the Sultanate should not be compared with others when it comes to addressing the events that were unheard of in the Omani society. “No doubt that the care and interest covers all those living in this kind land and that it is important to preserve the safety and security of people and their property. The policemen are alert to ensure this while maintaining the highest degree of self control. We consider the safety of everyone in this country as a gain for all of us as our society vehemently dismisses all forms of violence.

Therefore, it is important to focus on raising awareness of good behavior in addressing the demands, especially as freedom of opinion is guaranteed to everyone in society and receives attention of the leadership and all officials who work tirelessly to satisfy the demands that ensure decent life for every citizen.

Fahd affirmed that the corrective steps recently taken by the state will be seriously activated, especially those related to strict auditing in a bid to preserve the achievements of this nation. “We assure everyone that the reform march is on the right track of which the general frame was outlined by the leadership,” he said.

He also said that there are many issues which are now being studied carefully, in addition to evaluating the education policies and areas related to developing the private and public sectors while taking into consideration the Omanis working in these sectors. He added that all steps will see light successively and that they all translate the aspirations that serve the public interest.

Fahd urged everyone to cooperate to present to the world the civilized reality of this country, known for its rich history and culture.

The editors-in-chief presented their views and expressed deep appreciation for the confidence invested in them by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and the support they receive to enable them to carry out their national mission efficiently.

They reiterated their commitment to media ethics and adopting freedom of expression to help this generous country preserve its achievements. They hoped that more similar meetings would be held to cast light on various issues of national importance.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Said Al Kalbani, Social Development Minister, hailed the Royal Grant of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said for raising the social insurance pension by 100 per cent for all the 51,442 persons benefiting from this pension from amongst the social insurance cases registered at the Social Development Ministry as on March 2011 that includes 117,000 citizens.

Mohammed Al Kalbani added that this Royal grant was preceded by another generous grant, including non-cutting of the social insurance pension for the families because of the employment of a relative by only cutting the stake of this relative from the pension while continuing the pension for the rest of the family members.

This in turn will help youths to join the jobs offered by the government to jobseekers in the public and private sectors without being afraid of bearing the burden of spending on their families. This will help the youth in saving money and plan for future without any pressure. On the other hand, the rest of the family members will not be prevented from the social insurance cover, including the various services provided by the government to the beneficiaries of this pension.

He also said the Royal grant allocated a computer for each social insurance family who has sons studying in regular schools or higher education establishments. These computers are being distributed to the eligible people by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) in cooperation and coordination with the ministry. This will include training and free Internet service for one year. That will help those students in learning and raising their level of knowledge that would help them in their education.

At the end of his statement, the minister said: “In the name of all the social insurance families benefiting from these Royal grants, we extend our loyalty and gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, praying Almighty Allah to grant good health to His Majesty the Sultan.”

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has issued Royal Decree No. 52/2011 amending some provisions of the Royal Decree No.59/96 establishing the Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Exports Development (Ociped).

Article One: The text of article One of the said Royal Decree No. 59/96 will be replaced with the following text: “A public authority named ‘A Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Exports Development’ will be established as per the provisions of this Royal Decree.

Article Two: Appoints Dr. Salim Bin Nasser Al Ismaili as Chairman of the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Exports Development with the rank of a minister.

Article Three: The system of the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Exports Development’ shall be issued by a Royal Decree. Till this system is issued, the articles of association of the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Exports Development’ will remain in force subject that they do not contradict with the provisions of this decree.

Article Four; the decree comes into force from its date of issue.

On the other hand, the reforms unveiled by the Sultanate’s government for improving the living standards of Omani citizens according to the Royal orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said will cost the exchequer about 500 million rials annually, Oman Tribune newspaper has learnt.

These sums include improving pensions for the government sector, increasing salaries of social security families, living allowance, employment process and allowance for the job seekers.

A government source said the financial condition of the Sultanate is good. The development programs that are approved in the eighth Five-Year Plan 2011-2015 will continue according to the schedule, the source said.