Muscat: Several economic activities run by small and medium enterprises in Oman are exempt from rental fees, as part of measures taken by the Supreme Committee to help businesses revive.
The Supreme Committee decided to “exempt owners of small and medium enterprises from rental fees for the activities described in annex 1 for holders of Riyada business cards within the real estate areas owned by government entities,” said the government body in a statement.
These business activities include exhibition management, wedding venues, fitness centres and gyms, festival organisers, conference organisers, tent rental, event supply and furniture rental, amusement parks and gaming zones, party planners, hookah lounges, travel agencies, tour operators, manpower recruitment services, nurseries, kindergartens, and cinemas.
Other activities included are heritage homes, eco lodges, adventure tourism operators, diving schools, equestrian training centres, caravan rental, hotels, motels and resorts, hotel apartments, primary education services (both stage 1 and 2), post-primary education, technical and vocational education, schools providing education to persons with disability, religious schools, and companies involved in Hajj and Umrah transportation.
SMEs are also exempt from the registration fees required by the Isnad Tender Board, and from fees required for the leasing of land. Any arrears they owe can also be deferred. The cost of renewing their entrepreneurship cards is also waived, provided they expired in 2021.
There is also a “deferral of loan payment of small and medium enterprises for the activities described in annex 1 for the holders of Riyada business cards, and those who had previously benefited from the loans of the Al Raffd Fund,” added the Supreme Committee statement.
Furthermore, private sector companies that do operate the above businesses are exempt from paying the fines related to company licences, provided they have expired between June 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, and the companies in question intend to continue operating these businesses.
Fines related to labour cards that have expired or will expire between the above dates are also exempt, irrespective of whether the labour card holder has left/will leave Oman permanently or wishes to renew their labour card.
Companies are also exempt from fines issued over non-renewal of business and licenses, provided they intend to renew them this year.
The renewal of expired work permits is also exempt from fines. Organisations that have lost expatriate workers because they left the country due to the pandemic will also be granted replacement work permits, in accordance with the categories available.
The Supreme Committee has also asked banks and financial service companies to reschedule loan repayments for SMEs and regular companies, without requiring them to pay an associated fee.