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Saudi to offer incentives for firms hiring Saudis

06-13-2011 08:19 BJT

RIYADH, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has announced that private companies, which are abiding by employing a specific number of Saudis, will enjoy incentives, local daily Arab News reported Sunday.

The incentives are part of the Labor Ministry's new quota system on private companies to hire Saudis.

Under the ground-breaking system, called Nitaqat, which will be effective from September, companies will be in the green and premium categories if they abiding by employing local staff and will get incentives for doing so.

Companies in the yellow category will be given a nine-month grace period to hire more Saudis and they will not be able extend permits for foreign works beyond six years, which takes effect retroactively.

Companies in the red category, the worst one, will be given six months to improve their status and will not be able to renew their foreign workers' visas.

The official unemployment rate in the kingdom is around 10 percent.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said it will create 66,000 fresh jobs for Saudis in the education and health sectors across the kingdom within months.

The plans for new jobs aim to quell any grievances over unemployment rates in the kingdom, which has witnessed small scale protests by unemployed university graduates and teachers over jobs and better pay.

Earlier this year, more than 200 unemployed graduates gathered outside the education ministry in the capital Riyadh to demand employment.

In March, the Saudi king issued a host of royal decrees to ease economic and social pressures in the kingdom, including a minimal wage and a monthly unemployment allowance of 533 U.S. dollars.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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