Contractors in the Sultanate of Oman are pressing their Ministry of Manpower to come up with a general job visa to enable foreign construction workers to enter their country.
The Times of Oman quotes Shaswar Al Balushi, the Oman Society of Contractors CEO, as saying that they have suggested to the ministry to issue general job visas for construction workers as it will remove hassles for migrant workers.
He was hopeful that the ministry would heed their suggestion and put the same in place soon.
According to Al Balushi, if Oman has a single general job visa for a construction worker who is adept in carpentry as well as electrical functions, then that person would be able to perform both the tasks. He added that it would not violate the labour law and allow construction sector to benefit.
At present, any individual employed in an occupation which is not listed on the work permit would be considered a violator of Omani law and could, therefore, be sent back to his home country.
The Oman government’s latest data reveals that 52,124 Omani citizens and 681,590 expatriates are employed in the construction sector currently.
Oman, on 1 July, had banned the granting of visas to expatriates in certain occupations for six months, including in construction.
Also endorsing the proposal was Abdul Gafoor, Al Shabibi Global’s general manager, who felt that it would help them in recruiting people and made financial sense too.
He said that they were unable to get adequate staff owing to certain regulations. With the introduction of a general visa, they could deal with the current problems financially and expedite projects on time.
Echoing the same view was Sunil Kumar KK, an official with Najmat Al Fujairah Trading Construction Company, saying that if the proposal was implemented, it would be a godsend for the construction industry, which is feeling the heat because of the decline in oil prices.
He said that the proposed measure would help the Arab country to recruit multi-skilled workers.
As Oman is facing a financial crisis, recruiting staff in different professions was tough now, said Kumar.
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