A senior Saudi Arabian official has called for measures to be taken to cut the number of expat workers in the kingdom.Shoura Council member Major General Muhammad Abusaq also said a national committee should be set up to combat unemployment in the country.“The number of foreign workers should be brought down to a reasonable level so that they do not pose any danger to national security,” Abusaq said in comments published by Saudi daily Arab News on Friday.He cited the lack of a minimum salary as one of the reasons for growing unemployment among Saudis as expatriates offer their services to private companies for lower wages.
“The lack of a suitable working atmosphere is another problem facing Saudi jobseekers. We also lack systems that ensure job security for Saudis,” the paper quoted him as saying in a local Arabic newspaper.The Shoura member proposed adding a new article to the Labour Law in order to establish a national committee to combat unemployment and improve the qualifications and efficiency of Saudi workers.He also called for a minimum salary for Saudi workers in private companies as a measure to fight unemployment.Last month it was reported that thousands of expats in Saudi Arabia were set to clear their bank accounts ahead of upcoming visa renewals amid fears new curbs on foreign labour will unleash a wave of job cuts.Foreign workers, whose bank accounts are frozen during visa renewals, fear rules aimed at forcing private sector firms to increase their quota of Saudi employees will leave them unemployed, unable to access their cash, and struggling to find a new job.
Companies in the world’s top oil exporter have until November 26 to achieve a set quota of Saudi employees, or face tough penalties including a ban on renewing visas for foreign workers.Firms will be graded as red, yellow and green. Expat employees of ‘red’ companies will not have their visas renewed at all, while ‘green’ companies will net a host of benefits, including fast-track visas for foreign workers.Expats within red firms whose visas are not renewed will need to secure a post within a green company in order to stay in the kingdom – but are likely to face fierce competition for the role
From / Arabian Business News