Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, on Tuesday, presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Al Barakah Palace.
At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan gave thanks and praise to the Almighty Allah for the bounties of stability and progress with which He has endowed Oman.
Then, His Majesty the Sultan reviewed regional and international conditions. He reiterated his resolve to accomplish the mission of economic reform towards the goal of realizing the State’s financial stability. This, he said, envisages placing fiscal balance on top of government priorities, since fiscal balance is considered one of the most important pillars of Oman Vision 2040.
He pointed out that the economic and financial challenges faced by Oman, like any other country, require undertaking a set of measures to improve financial and economic conditions.
His Majesty referred to the Medium-Term Fiscal Balance Plan (2020-2024), which aims to rebound the credit rating of the Sultanate to safe levels and establish an attractive investment climate, besides activating and diversifying sources of revenues, supporting economic growth and managing financial resources in an ideal manner.
Yet, His Majesty reaffirmed, the initiatives and programs of the Fiscal Balance Plan should not impact the lives of low-income segments and social security families. Instead, a Social Security Scheme should be established and consolidated.
His Majesty the Sultan stressed the need to streamline procedures, encourage investment, promote the private sector and develop the tourism sector and job-generating sectors.
He also underscored the significance of the Electronic Census of Population, Residences and Establishments scheduled to be conducted in December 2020. He pointed out that the census will reflect positively on various aspects of development and that it will contribute to the efficiency of comprehensive planning. He urged all to cooperate and react positively to the procedures needed to implement the e-census.
After that, His Majesty the Sultan spoke about the sectors of education and health, noting that they figure high in the next nation building process. He listened to a briefing on the exceptional measures undertaken by the departments concerned prior to the start of School Year (2020-2024) in view of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
On the occasion of the new School Year, His Majesty the Sultan greeted the teaching staff, the administrative crew and students, reminding all to stick to precautionary health procedures. He exhorted all to contribute to the realization of an efficient educational process.
In this context, His Majesty the Sultan laid emphasis on the importance of keeping abreast of modern educational methodologies, including distance learning, self-acquisition through ICT (information and communication technology) and digital interaction in a manner that conforms to Oman Vision 2040.
His Majesty the Sultan gave his directives to provide students belonging to Social Security Scheme families with laptops this year. He urged those concerned to contact all segments of society and listen to their views and address their urgent demands.
After receiving an update on measures undertaken by the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from Covid-19 pandemic and other authorities concerned, indicating that the pandemic will continue in the near future, His Majesty the Sultan hailed the efforts of the health force handling the pandemic. He also commended the procedures taken by the Supreme Committee in this respect.
His Majesty the Sultan said that the conditions accompanying the pandemic have to be handled prudently due to their impacts on public life. He stressed that balance should be maintained between decisions to tackle the pandemic and the ensuing economic and social impacts. He called for continuous assessment of the preventive procedures and for modifying the procedures as needed. He also said that offenders breaching the decisions of the Supreme Committee should be dealt with firmly.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan said “Oman is the State of Peace, and peace has been its approach which has ever since antiquity shaped its traditions. Being steadfast with this legacy, the Sultanate reaffirms its permanent positive stands in its relations with neighboring countries and the world at large.
“With Oman’s cooperation with all not compromising its national interests, the Sultanate seeks to achieve peace and security and to consolidate stability and peaceful co-existence with all countries of the world.”