Salman issues directives to pay unpaid salaries of foreign workers

Salman issues directives to pay unpaid salaries of foreign workers

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has allocated SAR 100m ($266.5m) and issued a series of directives with the intention of resolving all cases of unpaid salaries in the kingdom.
This follows complaints from hundreds of thousands of workers in the construction sector over unpaid dues.
The directive obliges companies to pay the salaries of their workers through the wage protection programme.

Under the system, companies will not be paid for their work by the government until the Ministry of Labour confirms that workers’ salaries have been paid on time.
The SAR 100m fund will be deposited in the Saudi Arab Fund with the intention of deducting any costs related to resolving the issue from violating firms’ accounts.
In recent months, local construction firms Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin Group have made headlines following protests and thousands of complaints from workers over unpaid wages.
At the end of July, India said it would send a government minister to the country amid concerns more than 10,000 Indians were facing a “food crisis” after being laid off or not paid.
King Salman called for the country’s labour minister to address housing and accommodation services for distressed workers by contracting related firms.
The funds to pay for these services will reportedly be taken directly from their employers’ receivables from the government.
The Saudi ruler has also directed the labour minister to coordinate with Saudi Arabian Airlines to transport workers back home at the cost of their employer if they wish to do so and for the country’s passport department to provide final exit visas.
He also encouraged the minister to contract legal consultancies to pursue financial claims against the firms and meet with representatives from concerned countries to highlight the kingdom’s efforts in resolving the issue.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has announced the establishment of a central body to control its development funds and appointed two new ministers.
The National Development Fund links the Saudi Fund for Development, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the Agricultural Development Fund, the Social Development Bank and the Human Resources Development Fund.
Of these, one of the largest is believed to be the industrial fund, which has a capital of at least SAR65bn ($17.3bn) and provides loans to industries including, chemicals, construction materials and food, according to Reuters.
Any other fund or bank can also be linked to the national fund under the orders of the country’s ruler King Salman.
For now the kingdom’s estimated $180bn sovereign fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is not included.
The National Development Fund will supervise the entities and have a board chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the PIF and the face of the kingdom’s reform efforts.
Six other members are to be appointed by King Salman.
“The board of directors of the National Development Fund shall assume all the tasks and powers and take decisions, measures and others as may be necessary to achieve the purpose of establishing the fund,” according to Saudi Press Agency.
“The National Development Fund shall have a governor with a minister’s rank, who is the executive officer of the fund.”
The experts committee of the kingdom’s Council of Ministers has been tasked with preparing draft regulation for the fund within 30 days.
The kingdom also announced the appointment of transport minister Sulaiman Al-Hamdan as minister of civil services.
He replaces Khaled Al-Araj, who was removed from the position in April after being accused of appointing his son to a senior role.
Nabeel al-Amudi, the head of the Saudi Ports Authority, has been appointed transport minister, according to ME news websites.

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