In an effort to control and support the local economy, the Saudi government, through the Ministry of Labor, is planning to roll out a new rule that will control the amount of money being transferred outside the country. This then means that foreigners living and earning in the country will be highlighted, with every one of their transactions being closely monitored.
To the above effect, a statistical report is to be prepared showing how much an expatriate earns as compared to how much they transfer out of the country. In the ideal situation, and as per the law, an expatriate should not send out more money that what he earns. The population of Saudi Arabia is such that in every ten employees, 9 are expatriates. In fact, statistics show that there are about 11 million expatriates in Saudi, which makes up about 30% of the workforce. Most of their income seems to be flowing out and into India, Bangladesh and Pakistan mostly. As such, this rule is targeted at protecting the country’s economy because money sent out is not taxed.
Ideally, this plan is bound to reset a lot of money back into the economy of Saudi, that is according to the Minister of Labor, Adel Fakih. In the same breath, such illegal activities as smuggling, illegal and unlicensed businesses will be stopped when this rule is put into action.
To the same effect, the government is encouraging job creation for citizens as opposed to expatriates. There are a number of laws that have actually been put in place to replace expatriate workers with citizens making many lose prestigious jobs in the private sector as well as government jobs. This has forced many expatriates to look for jobs in other industries, while others lose their jobs completely. For instance, 10,000 foreigners lost their jobs last year alone.
One strategy that the government wants to adopt is monitoring expatriates bank transactions through one network. This makes it easy to monitor their income and flow of money.
Much as this may be good for many citizens in Saudi whose jobs may have been threatened by more experienced and qualified expatriates, this will make millions of expatriates suffer. Though they have salaried jobs, many of these have legal side jobs whose income may not be recorded but keeps them going. This would mean that they let go of these in a bid to protect their taxable jobs.
h/t Arab News