The land transport sector will face a full paralysis due to the Ministry of Labor’s decision to increase expat fees from SR 100 to SR 2,500 annually, concluded the national committee for land transport at the Council of Saudi Chambers.
Investors in the transport sector would not be able to meet the ministry’s increased fees.
During a recent meeting, the committee concluded that the ministry’s decision would also damage development and infrastructure projects in the Kingdom as the transport sector is one of the main pillars of those projects. The committee estimated the sector’s losses at more than SR 3 billion annually.
The committee said the sector felt it was being forced to leave the Saudi transport market, which is the largest in the region. Investors in the sector said they were willing to employ Saudis as vehicle drivers at a reasonable salary. The special nature of the sector, said the committee, made many Saudis unwilling to work for it. This puts investors in a predicament when trying to comply with the ministry’s demands.
The committee added that many development and infrastructure projects would stop. Empty trucks and tankers that came fully loaded from Saudi Aramco would not be allowed to return to the Kingdom without a valid residency permit for the drivers.
Investors would not be able to pay the costs to renew their residency permits, which would lead to an increase in costs of operating at a rate that would be hard to meet in comparison to the revenue from those sectors.
In turn, this would lead to a shortage in supply for power plants and gas stations, and therefore, damaging all sectors of society, said the committee.