The Saudi Kingdom had reportedly applied brakes on recruiting of taxi drivers; the government has decided to enforce a new Act by revising the labour ministry’s Nitaqat system. The new rule aims to reduce its reliance on the foreign workers by recruiting only highly-technical workers and monitoring the related investments closely. Moves are also on to make the rule tougher by bringing the taxi sector under the transport ministry, a move that will upset thousands from India.
According to Ibrahim Al-Assaf, finance minister, while giving highlights of the annual budget announced by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, “The Kingdom will now be more selective in hiring foreign workers”. Al-Assaf also informed that the Kingdom had made substantial progress in training and absorbing qualified Saudi professionals and workers in different sectors.
The Kingdom is home for over 10 million foreign workers. Major labor exporting countries include India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and a few African countries. More than 125,000 US and Western expatriates also live and work in the desert Kingdom. Saudi Arabia does not collect income taxes from foreigners, But, recent statement released by the Ministry of Finance do imply that the finance ministry has infact realized that this cannot go on forever. However, currently the government has allayed fears of expatriates and rejected rumors, saying that the Kingdom has no plans to introduce individual income tax in the country.
The new rule has been implemented after conducting a probability study in job market related to taxi sector.