Muscat: Labour permits for expatriate workers in Oman can now be provided in just three days, while they previously took weeks to process.

This has been made possible because of Oman’s efforts to promote e-governance, as part of its endeavours to make it easier to do business in the country.

It is also a significant portion of the Medium Term Fiscal Plan issued by the Ministry of Finance to develop a sustainable economy, encourage more business and diversification, provide a decent standard of living for all, and maintain debt payments at manageable levels.

Twenty-six entities have been linked under the e-governance initiative, which means the required departments can easily access and share the relevant documents, instead of physically transporting them from one place to the other, a time-consuming process.

“The Ministry of Finance official said: “Integrating several municipalities to the Invest Easy system has reduced the time required to start a business from several weeks to only a number of days.

“The time period for obtaining labour permits for foreign workers has been reduced from several weeks to three days,” added the ministry.

“The integration of the municipalities of Muscat, Sohar and Dhofar with each other has been completed.”

The ministry noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic made it important for the public sector to adapt and transition to an e-governance system, to provide the necessary services required even when people are unable to visit public sector offices.

Improving and developing the business environment is one of the most important factors supporting the empowerment of the private sector, which in turn helps stimulate economic growth and increase job opportunities.

A big part of the e-government setup is Oman’s Invest Easy portal, which allows firms from all over the world which operate, or wish to set up operations in the country, to submit their documents online, greatly cutting down the time needed to process applications.

e-governance initiatives are among many planned by the government to stimulate economic growth, with some of the others being “improving the business environment, restructuring the labour market, and stimulating the economy through both domestic and foreign direct investment,” according to the Ministry of Finance.

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