Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

In this file photo, Laborer work to remove a pole outside a residential building in Riyadh on Feb. 9, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

  • The Kingdom intends to gradually cancel labor visas issued under the previous system
  • Says it will prioritize certain occupational categories

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia will introduce a new foreign manpower program starting next month by issuing visas for specific occupations, said Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Al-Omair noted that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes. He also noted that the previous labor category system would be gradually be removed from the ministry’s system.

The new scheme will be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it will become compulsory.

According to Al-Omair, the new program will be first applied to the manpower recruited from India due to it is a large size in the Saudi market.

However, it will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, since workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of the professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Pakistani FM calls Pompeo, discusses India’s ‘regressive policies’ in Kashmir

Updated 08 August 2020

Pakistani FM calls Pompeo, discusses India’s ‘regressive policies’ in Kashmir

  • Qureshi tells the US state secretary that Pakistan will be Washington’s peace partner in the region
  • Says Islamabad hoped for the earliest convening of intra-Afghan negotiations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for American participation in the United Nations Security Council debate over India’s “continuing regressive policies” in Kashmir on August 5, adding that the Security Council deliberations had once again reaffirmed the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to an official handout circulated in Islamabad, Qureshi had a phone call with the US official in which he discussed the United States-Pakistan relations along with other regional developments.
Stressing the importance of the bilateral relations between the two countries, the foreign minister said that “Pakistan would be a partner for peace with the US.”
Qureshi also noted that “the continued interest and commitment of the international community would help generate the necessary momentum toward the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the relevant UN Security Council security resolutions.”
Reviewing the recent developments in Afghanistan, he also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement in the war-torn country.
“The Foreign Minister stressed that the Afghan peace process should be pursued in earnest. Noting the holding of Loya Jirga, he expressed the hope that a conducive environment would be created for the earliest convening of the intra-Afghan negotiations,” said the statement.
Exchanging notes on the COVID-19 pandemic, Qureshi thanked Pompeo for the US support and assistance. He also added that the government’s “smart lockdown” policy had helped Pakistan gradually open up its economy.