Charges for public utilities, services, to be revised

Costs for the use of public utilities and public services could go up following a review by the finance ministry of Law No-79 of the year 1995 pertaining to the fees and financial costs applied for public services.

The ministry is understood to have submitted a report on this and other financial reforms and plans to the Council of Ministers for further consideration and action. The ministry said in its report that the restructuring fees, amendments and reforms were needed to align costs with services in the present context. The move is also intended to increase efficiency and enhance the development of regulations, policies and procedures in government bodies, regarding fees and financial costs charged for the use of public utilities and services.

The ministry added that other financial measures being planned include the adoption of revised tax laws through the drafting of new tax procedures and selective taxes.

On another note, the government is planning to compel the private sector to reduce the number of expatriates, and increase the employment of national, with the aim of adjusting the demographic imbalance in the country and lowering unemployment among citizens..

Latest figures from the Central Statistical Bureau show that there are currently around 73,000 nationals working in the private sector, while the government plan aims to increase this number to 130,000 by 2021. At present there are 1.6 million expatriates employed in the private sector and the government aims to bring this number down to 1.1 million by 2021. Recent data from the government reveals that at the end of June there were nearly 16,000 unemployed nationals in the country.