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Saudi private sector warns of bankruptcy due to increased taxes

Saudi Labour Minister Ali Bin Nasser Al-Ghafis [Patnubay Online/Facebook]

Fees charged to foreign workers in Saudi Arabia could have serious repercussions and lead to some going bankrupt, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a complaint filed at the Ministry of Labour.

In a letter to the Minister of Labour and Social Development, Ali Bin Nasser Afis, the Chamber of Commerce said it had received many complaints from businessmen and companies saying the application of levies on foreign workers will have a serious impact on the private sector in general, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

A new law in Saudi stipulates that companies with more Saudi employees than foreign workers must pay 300 riyals ($80) per month for every foreign employee this year. The amount is set to rise to 700 riyals per month ($186.70) in 2020.

Companies with more foreign workers than local staff were charged 400 riyals ($106.70) per month for each foreign employee this year, this fee will rise to 800 riyals per month ($213.3) by 2020.

“The continuation of the fees will lead to the bankruptcy of 40 per cent of those companies” the chamber said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf depend heavily on foreign labour. By the end of the third quarter of 2017, the number of workers in the Kingdom stood at 13.76 million, 77.7 per cent – 10.69 million – of them were foreigners.

Read: Foreign transfers from Saudi down 6.8% in 2017

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