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The New Arab

Oman cuts new civil servants salaries after low oil prices, coronvirus lockdowns

Oman has fewer oil reserves than other Gulf states [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 May, 2020

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Oil prices and coronavirus lockdowns have had a devastating effect on Oman's economy.
New Omani civil servants will see significant salary cuts as low oil prices and coronavirus lockdown measures hit the sultanate's finances.

Salaries will be up to 22 percent lower than previous rates due to the new economic environment, the civil service council said on Sunday.

Cuts will range from 20 percent for PhD holders to five percent for secondary school graduates, as the government looks to shear costs for the state.

"The appointment for the qualified persons shall be one grade below to the provisions of the unified grades and salaries scale for the Omani civil employees in the country on the grades specified for each academic qualification or academic or professional certificate," the new article covering changes to the civil service stated. 

Ten of thousands of Omanis are employed by the state but the government is looking to ease public spending by increasing the size of the private sector and encouraging more Omanis to start their own companies.

Oman's economy has been hit by years of low oil prices and more recently by the coronavirus crisis, which has had a devastating impact on local businesses.

The sultanate's GDP growth is expected to shrink this year, with the government announcing a range of budget cuts to cope with the decrease in finances.

The state will force public workers with more than 30 years service to retire and half the salaries for board members of government organisations.

Oman has ordered state-owned companies to accelerate the process of replacing foreign staff with Omani nationals, especially in senior positions, to create more jobs for its citizens.

The finance ministry gave public sector companies until July 2021 to draw up timetables to appoint Omanis in the place of foreign staff, including in managerial positions.

The ministry said large numbers of expatriates still occupied managerial posts in state-run firms.

Foreigners make up more than 40 percent of Oman's population of 4.6 million, and have played a major role in the Gulf state's development for several decades. 

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