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Oman takes measures to address public grievances


27 February 2011
MUSCAT — Oman’s ruler on Saturday announced a slew of measures aimed at redressing public grievances against mounting cost of living.
The steps ordered by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said included the setting up of a new body for consumer protection, financial support for government employees and more allowances for students of state run higher education institutions.
The Omani ruler set up an independent authority for consumer protection with the concerned departments tasked with drawing its basic statute and scope of work.
The contribution of civil service employees in pension was reduced from eight per cent to seven per cent of their basic salaries plus 75 per cent of housing, electricity and water allowances. 
The monthly financial allocations for students at public colleges and institutes affiliated to the higher education and manpower ministries were increased.
The amount will now be RO90 a month for students of Colleges of Applied Sciences of the higher education ministry and colleges of technology, institutes and centres attached to the manpower ministry who are not provided with accommodation, provided their houses are more than 100km away. The allowance will be RO25 if they live nearer.
Earlier this month, Oman raised minimum wages for an estimated 150,000 private sector employees to $520 from $364 a month.
ravindranath@khaleejtimes.com
  
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