Muscat: The performance of the economy came up for review at a meeting of the Supreme Council for Planning (SCP) held under the chair of Dr. Ali bin Mas’oud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Deputy Chairman of the SCP.
A report on the economy, that was tabled at the Council’s first meeting for 2018, showed improvement in the performance of the local economy as it achieved good indicators in 2017, where GDP continued to achieve positive growth rates. Positive performance is expected to continue during 2018, with the expected slight increase in inflation rates.
On the occasion of opening the new Muscat International Airport, which is one of the most important development projects in the Sultanate, the SCP commended the role that this great edifice will play in stimulating economic growth and promoting economic diversification, particularly in the tourism and logistics sectors.
Further, the Council discussed the operational position of other major development projects, ways of addressing challenges facing some of these projects and funding alternatives available during the upcoming period.
The SCP was briefed on the steps and efforts made in preparing the Future Vision 2040 and the great interaction by many segments of the community involved in the preparation of the vision.
The Council also reviewed launching activities of “All Oman” within the projects of the Vision to visit the governorates of the Sultanate. It began in the Governorate of Al Buraimi and witnessed a wide participation of all categories of the community, and an active interaction in its associating workshops. The Council affirmed continuing work of the same in the rest governorates.
The SCP viewed the stages achieved in preparing the National Urban Development Strategy, in addition to its subsequent phases. The Council stressed the importance of developing the strategy at the level of the governorates with accuracy, precision and community involvement.
The Council discussed the position and the executive measures taken for the residential neighbourhoods project in the Wilayat of Barka and actions taken with a view to starting the implementation of the project during this year.
Additionally, the SCP reviewed some land plots that were allocated for the establishment of model residential neighborhoods in some governorates of the Sultanate, so that they avail additional alternatives for citizens to find suitable housing, as well as private sector’s initiatives in this aspect in line with the Government’s trend towards the importance of partnership with the private sector in terms of services rendered to citizens.
The Council also reviewed the emergency plan for Sohar Port and the Sohar Free Zone, as well as the current requirements for security and safety to deal with industrial accidents in those zones and other industrial estates of the Sultanate.
The SCP reviewed the status of illegal holdings of land and schemes in governorates of the Sultanate and its impact on the National Urban Development Strategy, as well as the legal procedures taken by the concerned institutions towards the immediate removal of irregularities and illegal holdings in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in this regard.