Oman sets up planning council, data centre
By staff - Tue May 29, 9:07 pm
Oman has constituted a new ‘Supreme Council for Planning’ and a ‘National Centre for Statistics and Data’ which, between them, will take over many of the functions and responsibilities of the erstwhile Ministry of National Economy.
Also, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation and Air Navigation has been removed from the Ministry of Transport and Communication and reconstituted as an independent ‘Public Authority for Civil Aviation’.
The high-profile Supreme Committee for Town Planning was done away with and most of its powers assigned to the Ministry of Housing.
The National Economy Ministry was abolished early last year as part of several far-reaching changes in government announced by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said after protests broke out in the country demanding economic and political reforms.
The new Supreme Council for Planning, with its secretariat-general headquartered in Muscat and enjoying financial and administrative autonomy, will receive all allocations and assets of the scrapped ministry’s Directorates-general of Development Planning, Service Sectors Development, Economic Affairs and Private Sector Affairs, a decree issued by Sultan Qaboos on Saturday said.
All the administrative departments affiliated to the ministry’s under-secretaries for economic affairs and development affairs and their employees will also be transferred to the council’s secretariat-general.
The rest of the allocations, assets and liabilities of the National Economy Ministry will be transferred to the Finance Ministry, while the Foreign Ministry will be given the tasks and activities of joint committees between the sultanate and Arab and foreign countries previously attached to the National Economy Ministry.
The National Centre for Statistics and Data, constituted through another royal decree on Saturday, will be affiliated to the Supreme Council for Planning. It will be a financially and administratively independent body and based in Muscat.
The centre will take over the National Economy Ministry’s Directorates-general of Social Statistics and Economic Statistics and the Data and Publishing Department and their staff. Employees affiliated to the office of the National Economy Minister, the Secretary-General of the ministry and Directorate-general for Administrative and Financial Affairs will be transferred to new departments that will be named soon by the Supreme Council for Planning.
A third royal decree scrapped the Supreme Committee for Town Planning and transferred much of its prerogatives to the Housing Ministry. The ministry will now have the jurisdiction to propose legislations related to urban planning, develop bylaws that regularise and guide urban planning activities in the country.
The other functions of the committee will be distributed among various government departments to be chosen by the Council of Ministers, which will also name and define the powers of a new department to be set up to consider compensations related to the Batinah Coastal Road project.
The new Public Authority for Civil Aviation, which will be affiliated to the Council of Ministers and with its headquarters in Muscat, has been vested with all powers, allocations and assets of the Ministry of Transport and Communication’s Directorate-general of Meteorology and Air Navigation, the Directorate-general of Safety and Aviation Services and Salalah Airport Division, together with everything related to civil aviation affairs.
The authority’s board of directors will be chaired by the Minister of Transport and Communication and it will have six members, to be nominated by the Council of Ministers. A separate royal decree appointed Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al Oufi as Chief Executive Officer of the authority.
Another royal decree on Saturday issued the constitution of the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development which will now be affiliated to the Foreign Ministry.
Source: Khaleej Times