Muscat: With five days left to vote, a government unit's poll on scrapping or keeping the No Objection Certificates (NOCs) has swung heavily to those who want to see the ruling removed.
Residents are voting in a government unit poll asking whether Oman's hotly debated No Objection Certificate (NOC) rule should stay or go.
The Implementation Support and Follow-Up Unit (ISFU), launched the public poll via social media yesterday seeking opinions from residents in Oman.
The Arabic poll, as of 10am on Thursday, received 910 votes, with 61 per cent agreeing with 'removing NOCs', 33 per cent disgreeing with 'removing NOCs', and six per cent "not sure" votes.
The English poll, as of 10am on Thursday, received 609 votes, with 80 per cent unsupportive of NOCs, 18 per cent supportive of NOCs, and two per cent "not sure" votes.
The polls are accompanied with conflicting comments regarding the measure, and solutions that would find middle ground with regards to amending NOCs.
The ISFU also posted an infographic online with a definition of the NOC, and arguments for and against the regulation.
"Some business owners believe that NOCs lead to restrictive movement of workers, and decrease their productivity, and therefore lead to barriers in front of business with regards to attracting talent from world markets, while others see that NOCs protect trade and client secrets, and therefore the NOC is considered positive in their work," the infographic said.
In 2014, Omani authorities implemented a two-year ban for expatriates, if they fail to acquire a No Objection Certificate from their current employer in order to switch sponsorship to a different employer in the Sultanate.
Without the NOC, expats have to leave the country and cannot return for a period of two years. According to government officials, the rule was implemented to stop expatriates switching jobs and joining competing firms.
The Implementation Support and Follow Up-Unit has been conducting meetings with different Tanfeedh initiative teams, in order to evaluate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and find solutions for the challenges that face the Tanfeedh teams.
Tanfeedh, the government think tank charting the economic future of Oman, held a series of 'labs' last year where experts from the public and private sectors brainstormed for six weeks to come up with solutions for the Sultanate's economy.
The Labour lab, headed by Shahswar Al Balushi, had drawn up proposals around the NOC regulation to make it fairer to both employers and employees.
The polls can be accessed through the following links: