Oman’s Sultan Haitham has ordered his cabinet to set up cradle-to-grave benefits for low-income Omanis.
The social protection law is intended to assist low-income earners on several fronts, including the provision of child benefits.
Financial assistance will also be provided for pensioners, orphans, widowers and Omanis with disabilities.
Oman Television on Wednesday reported that the social protection law ordered by Sultan Haitham is in motion and the final draft is being prepared.
The government has set aside 400 million rials ($1.1 billion) a year starting from 2024 for the social protection programme. The programmes will cover various risks to which an insured person might be exposed, such as the potential of decreased ability to earn due to old age, disability, work-related injuries, occupational diseases, sick leave and other cases.
How much each recipient under the social protection scheme will be awarded in the range of 100 to 250 Omani rials a month, a government official familiar with the plan said. “It will vary according to whether the money is handed to orphans, widows, old people or for child benefits. It will be finalised by the second quarter of this year,” the official said. He added that most of the benefits will go to the main breadwinner of the family under the category of minimum wages, which is set at 350 rials per month, although widowers and divorcees will also benefit.
According to official statistics from the National Centre for Statistics and Information, about 97,000 Omanis fall under the category of minimum-income wage earners.
“If you are disabled and you have lost your job or you’re widow with no income or a divorced woman with children, you will get the social protection, too,” he said.
The news was welcomed by many Omanis who will see their daily lives benefit from this new social protection programme.