Muscat: At the behest of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, the Ministry of Finance announced a set of incentives to be offered to citizens and the private sector during 2021 on Thursday.
The incentives include loans from Oman Housing Bank, with the annual sum designated for annual borrowing during 2021 to be increased to OMR100 million, from OMR60 million in the bank’s budget in the same year. This will take the number of approvals for citizens’ loans to 2,250 from 1,350. The step will shorten citizens’ wait for their turn in obtaining housing loans.
Also, as part of the incentives, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning will help prepare for the distribution of 23,000 land plots in different governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate.
Other incentives will exempt borrowers from Oman Development Bank and the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises from loan interests for one year (2021).
As many as 32,104 establishments and firms will get a lump sum waiver worth OMR10,930,432. It is a measure aimed to alleviate the financial burdens of small and medium enterprises and firms that take loans from Oman Development Bank and the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (loans of Al Raffd Fund and Sanad), particularly upon the reorientation of electricity and water subsidy.
The decision also exempts citizen-owned SMEs, to be registered with effect from 1 January 2021, from all license fees, provided the said SMEs are run by their owners, who act as full-time managers and are holders of Riyada Cards, through the first three years after foundation, provided the firms/establishments take up “target activities that are specified by the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, namely converting industries, service activities (transport, tourism, logistics activities), as well as activities of agriculture and fisheries.
The incentives also include reduction of lease contract fees from 5 per cent to 3 per cent to encourage the registration of tenancy contracts and safeguard the rights of both tenants and landlords.