Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Barakah Palace on Tuesday.
At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to Allah, the Almighty, for the bounties He has bestowed on Oman and its loyal people. His Majesty the Sultan expressed gratitude to Allah for the accomplishments made in all spheres of life in Oman. He invoked the Almighty to perpetuate these riches, praying that all efforts would meet with success in realizing the good of the nation.
Then, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed local, regional and international conditions. He opened the meeting by exploring the economic, fiscal and social indices achieved last year (2022). His Majesty voiced his satisfaction with the positive outcome of national action at all levels. He underlined the significance of maintaining the pace in implementing the strategies, plans and programmes aimed at realizing sustainable development and preserving the national gains.
His Majesty the Sultan spoke about the efforts undertaken by the authorities concerned to attract more local and foreign investments, develop sources of economic diversification and augment the share of non-oil investments in the gross domestic product (GDP).
After reviewing the executive status of initiatives and programmes being implemented by the authorities concerned, His Majesty the Sultan laid emphasis on the necessity of follow-up of these aspects. In particular, he gave directives to consolidate investment and diversify its sources, streamline related procedures and addressing pertaining challenges in a way that reflects positively on investor confidence and enhances Oman’s competitive indices.
The Council of Ministers listened to a briefing about the fiscal performance of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and its role in boosting the national economy. His Majesty the Sultan commended the performance of the OIA and its ability to realize good financial gains since its inception. He gave directives to channel the OIA’s investments towards achieving added value in the national economy and consolidating production frameworks in a manner that augments local content and generates more jobs for citizens. His Majesty the Sultan touched on the executive position of employment initiatives and programme. His Majesty the Sultan underlined the importance of raising the awareness of youth about global standards of work culture and the need to encourage them to undertaken self-employment. In this context, His Majesty the Sultan instructed the departments concerned to furnish appropriate environment for citizens to take all types of jobs and enterprises.
His Majesty the Sultan also reviewed the outcome of assessment of the performance of government units in 2022, prepared by the Government Performance Measurement Unit, which indicated the existence of tangible improvement in performance. He stressed the need to continue upgrading government performance at all levels to achieve the desired goals, visions and aspirations and keep pace with global developments. He urged all institutions to study areas of strength and weakness and to find the best ways to address the challenges facing them.
After reviewing the results achieved through the "Manjam" labs on streamlining government services, His Majesty the Sultan stressed the need to effectively participate in the upcoming stages of the laboratories. He instructed that such action would be undertaken in accordance with regulatory standards of governance based on institutional partnership to achieve the satisfaction of the citizen, residents in Oman and the business sector.
In this context, he lauded government departments’ improvement of performance in the Digital Transformation Programme, and he gave directives to maintain such efforts.
While reviewing the progress made in conducting municipal councils’ elections, His Majesty the Sultan hailed citizens’ earnest quest to engage in the elections, both from abroad and within Oman, as they compete to select the members who represent them in the 3rd term Municipal Councils. His Majesty also commended the application of technology which empowered the citizens to remotely vote through smartphones and enabled those interested to follow up results of the elections.
His Majesty the Sultan expressed his satisfaction with the efforts exerted by the authorities concerned in organising the elections. He gave his blessings to the new formation of municipal councils. He also laid emphasis on the collaboration of efforts, in the next stage, to develop municipal services and develop governorates so that they could play their prospective roles in the nation building process.
While referring to the data on the spread of drugs and psychotropic substances, His Majesty the Sultan valued the efforts made by the departments concerned in combating the phenomenon. He pointed out that a five-year national strategy was endorsed to address drugs and psychotropic substances in the Sultanate of Oman (2023-2028). He gave directives to authorities to take necessary deterrence action to limit the negative (health, social, economic and security) impacts of the phenomenon.
His Majesty the Sultan also spoke about developments taking place in regional and international arenas as a result of changing behaviour and alien concepts, which often challenge human rights, and other proclaimed justifications to impose certain visions, programmes and conducts that do not fit with prevalent principles. In this context, His Majesty the Sultan underscored the significance of engaging in upright action to consolidate innate Omani principles and values that stem from the teachings of true religion. He urged families to bring up their children in accordance with sound educational values.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan spoke about various aspects of concern to the nation and citizens. He wished all success in realizing prosperity and progress for this dear homeland.