Building of new Oman requires hard work, meticulous planning

Where there is a will, there is welfare

Among the major programmes that Sultan Qaboos has undertaken for the wellbeing of citizens is Omanisation. Hundreds of thousands of youth have found work in the public and private sectors as a result.
Last year alone, following the Sultan’s appeal to provide 50,000 jobs to nationals, more than 60,000 were employed. The process of employing citizens still continues at a frenetic pace. To ensure that youth perform well in the right kind of jobs, the Government the Sultan embarked on a programme to emancipate them through education. Schools, colleges, universities and technical institutions were started all over the country to ensure that they attained the required skill in various fields.
The Council of Ministers’ approval given to the recommendations of a committee for revising the financial grants for students of government colleges and institutes must be seen in this context. Health care too was given a lot of importance as the Sultan believed that able-bodied citizens only could carry out the onerous task of nation-building. In this context the most sophisticated hospitals and health centres were built in every nook and cranny of the country.
Yet another subject discussed at the meeting was tourism. The Tourism Ministry was given the task of conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the sector and assess the major challenges. Yet another decision of the Council of Ministers concerned the appointment of a team of experts to develop a strategy for the development of the tourism sector to which great importance is being given in accordance with the directives of the Sultan. In the final analysis, all these and other crucial decisions were taken with the welfare of the people in mind.
Qaboos has always believed that the citizens are the backbone of the nation. On them, depends the future of the nation. On them, depends the progress of the nation. So, ample importance has been given to ensure that the wellbeing of citizens gets priority. In pursuance of this aim, His Majesty the Sultan has strived hard in different ways over the years. His annual tours around the country, when he meets citizens and listens attentively to them to get to know their needs, must be cited as an example to show his deep interest in finding out their needs and fulfilling them.
Ever since the beginning of the Omani Renaissance, in 1970, the leadership has crafted every policy and programme with the welfare of citizens in mind. Hence the decision taken at Saturday’s Council of Ministers meeting to help government departments hasten the setting up of electronic facilities for ensuring better services to citizens came as no surprise. In this age, this is an important step as it enables the government to act in the best interests of the people.
Comprehensive development in all sectors has been the primary aim of the Sultanate’s government ever since the beginning of the Blessed Renaissance initiated under the guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Every step forward in this sacred endeavour has always been meticulously planned. It was in this context that the supreme committee of the five-year development plans met on Thursday under the auspices of Sayyid Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers. Since the aim of the committee is to achieve speedy and comprehensive development in the social and economic sectors, the committee conducted a detailed study of key areas and issues. Projects of the last five-year plan as well as those of the current Eighth Five-Year Plan were reviewed in great detail. The committee also reviewed and approved the report prepared by a team of experts, appointed by the committee, on the challenges in implementing the current five-year plan.
One of the main subjects of the discussions at the meeting of the committee was the need to create projects that would ensure more job opportunities for citizens as this alone will ensure all-round progress all over the country. In fact, this is also the desire of His Majesty the Sultan. Most of his plans were aimed at providing jobs for citizens as this alone will ensure their emancipation. The Omanisation programme, started more than a decade ago, was started with this aim. As a result, thousands of Omani youth have been employed in the public and private sectors in almost every sphere. Omani men and women can be seen behind the counters of banks and airline offices and in hypermarkets and offices. Last year, His Majesty the Sultan ordered jobs for 50,000 youth in the public and private sectors. And recently announced statistics reveal that around 62,000 Omanis were given jobs in 2011.