Saudi Arabia extends ‘Nitaqat’ deadline to November 3, 2013

Giving some relief to Indians in Saudi Arabia who are facing trouble in adjusting to the changes in the employment opportunities introduced by the ongoing “Nitaqat” (naturalisation) legislation being implemented by the Labour Ministry of the Kingdom, King Abdullah has extended the deadline for implementing the legislation from July 3 to November 3, 2013. This decision would give some more time to Indian expatriates to either find a new employment or return home.
The extension of time limit would help the Indian workers — most of them who would become jobless as employers now have to compulsorily implement 10% reservation in jobs for locals — return to their homeland hassle-free without getting arrested or penalized.
What is Nitaqat?
The Nitaqat is a new policy being placed by the Saudi government in order to reduce the unemployment rate among Saudi citizens. This policy makes it mandatory for Saudi Companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.
Why Saudi Arabia is implementing such a policy?
Saudi Arabia’s economy depends heavily on the existence of a large proportion of expatriates working for various establishments in the private and public sector.
However, unlike the other states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia has large number of unemployed citizens, which creates a state of resentment among those citizens.
As per estimates, the unemployment rate among Saudi nationals has reached 12%. More than 6.5 million non-Saudis are working in the private sector of the Kingdom compared to 7,00,000 Saudis.