Updated Version of Saudi ‘Nitaqat’ Program Aims to Provide 340,000 jobs by 2024

The second version of Nitaqat has been launched with a goal to provide 340,000 jobs by 2024. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The second version of Nitaqat has been launched with a goal to provide 340,000 jobs by 2024. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
TT

Updated Version of Saudi ‘Nitaqat’ Program Aims to Provide 340,000 jobs by 2024

The second version of Nitaqat has been launched with a goal to provide 340,000 jobs by 2024. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The second version of Nitaqat has been launched with a goal to provide 340,000 jobs by 2024. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The second version of Nitaqat, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s Saudization program, has been launched with a goal to provide 340,000 jobs by 2024.

Inaugurating the program, Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad al-Rajhi revealed that it aims at developing and increasing the efficiency of the labor market and providing job opportunities to Saudis.

The latest version of the Nitaqat program boasts three new features.

The first is a localization plan with a clear and transparent vision for the next three years, with the aim of increasing the organizational stability of private sector institutions.

The second part of the updated program will use a linear formula that is properly associated with the number of employees at an institution, instead of current localization rates that rely on classifying institutions into certain and fixed sizes.

The third update simplifies the design of the program and improves the client experience by merging activities with similar characteristics into 32 choices instead of 85.

Nitaqat was launched in 2011 to encourage the localization of jobs and set a minimum wage for Saudis in the private sector. The program’s first step was increasing the minimum wage to SAR3,000 ($800).

It was later raised to SAR4,000 ($1,000) during the beginning of the second quarter of this year.



Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
TT

Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)

Egypt raised the prices of a wide range of fuel products on Thursday, the official gazette said, four days before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducts a third review of its expanded $8 billion loan program for the country.

The official gazette, citing the petroleum ministry, said petrol prices increased by up to 15% per litre, with 80 octane rising to 12.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.25), 92 octane to 13.75 pounds and 95 octane to 15 pounds.

Diesel, one of the most commonly used fuels, saw the biggest increase, rising to 11.50 Egyptian pounds ($0.24) from 10 pounds, according to Reuters.

This is the second time the government has raised fuel prices since the IMF expanded its loan program by $5 billion in March. Egypt has committed to slashing fuel subsidies as part of the agreement.

But Egyptians who spoke to Reuters, including taxi driver Sayed Abdo, complained that Thursday's move would mean an automatic increase in prices for daily goods.

"If you ride with me today and usually pay 10 Egyptian pounds, I will ask you for 15, because fuel prices are raised. That's normal, because when I go get food, what I used to buy with 10 Egyptian pounds becomes now for 15," he said.

"We don't know where we're headed with these prices."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said prices of petroleum products will gradually increase until the end of 2025, adding that the government could no longer bear the burden of increasing consumption.

Egyptians have also endured blackouts, which Madbouly said had ended at the start of this week, as the country struggled to import sufficient natural gas to tackle the summer heat.

In April, the IMF estimated that Egypt will spend 331 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.85 billion) on fuel subsidies in 2024/25 and 245 billion in 2025/26.

The IMF's approval for the third review of the expanded loan program was originally expected on July 10, but was pushed back to July 29, with the lender attributing the delay to the finalisation of some policy details.

The IMF is expected to disburse $820 million to Egypt after concluding its review.