Sultan of Oman addresses the nation on decentralisation, accountability and fiscal plans


هذه الصفحة متوفرة بهذه اللغة: العربية

18 November 2020

MUSCAT (WAF): Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Sultan of Oman, stressed in his speech -on the occasion of the National Day of the Sultanate of Oman- the importance of accountability as a pillar for the future of the Sultanate, establishing the structure of decentralised local administration in the governorates, the government’s commitment to limit the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the key sectors, and accelerating the completion of the social security system to reduce the impact of the financial policies that are taken within the medium-term fiscal balance plan 2020-2024 (Tawazon).

In his third speech to the nation since he took office in January 2020, Sultan Haitham stressed that the success of Oman 2040 Vision is everyone’s responsibility without exception. And that, to support the government’s ability to move forward in achieving this vision, “we have worked to develop the state’s administrative apparatus and the restructuring of the Council of Ministers, and we have entrusted to it the responsibility of implementing development plans” in a way that enhances government performance and raises its efficiency.

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The Sultan added that his government will continue working on “reviewing the legislative and supervisory aspects”, and developing accountability tools as a “main pillar of future Oman.” Stressing the importance of accountability in “safeguarding the rights of the nation and citizens,” and its role in establishing justice and integrity.

On decentralising the government, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq said in his speech on state television, “we have laid the organisational basis for local administration, by establishing a decentralised administrative structure”. Adding that he “will continuously follow the level of progress in this administrative system in order to support and develop it, to empower society” to fulfil its role as part of the country’s progress

Earlier this year, Sultan Haitham issued directives to allocate 10 million Omani Rials ($26 million) to each of the 11 Omani governorates, to serve the needs and requirements of each governorate in a decentralised manner. And the government restructure which was announced in August included granting more powers and broader authorities to the governorates and added municipal services to the responsibilities of governors.

In his speech, the Sultan said that the government had taken the necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that the health, social and economic sectors are at the top of the government’s priorities, with an emphasis on continuing to support these sectors “to provide health services and education of all kinds with the best possible efficiency.”

The Sultan also highlighted the bright-side the pandemic has on the government’s digital transformation as it helped accelerate the pace “in a way that would not have found the necessary preparation and the appropriate response that is found in these circumstances.

Sultan Haitham also talked about the recently approved medium-term fiscal balance plan (Tawazon) saying “we are confident that the fiscal balance plan and related measures that have been adopted by the government recently will undoubtedly be sufficient to bring our national economy to safety.” At the same time, assuring that the Omani economy will witness during the next five years “growth rates that meet the aspirations” of the nation.

He emphasised on the government’s focus to provide the necessary care to the citizens, saying “we have directed to expedite the establishment of the social security system to ensure that the state carries out its basic duties and provides a decent life for them (the citizens), and to spare them the effects that may result from some financial measures and policies.”

Adding that part of the proceeds of these fiscal measures will be directed to support the social security system, which is envisioned to be a comprehensive national umbrella for the various social security efforts.

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