Labour Ministry draws flak over red tape, visa charges

ABU DHABI - The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs came under fire as members of the National Consultative Council (NCC) on Monday accused the ministry of bureaucracy and excessive charges for issuance of group employment visas.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Tue 27 Apr 2004, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:01 AM

Debating on the foreign labour force in the local market, during its second session of the 15th Legislative Council, chaired by Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Masood, NCC Speaker, a group of members criticised the policy of the ministry in issuing work permits and imposing high fees on labour transcations required to get employment visa.

"In view of the continuous support provided by the UAE government to facilitate the recruitment of foreign manpower, we urge the house to address the issue of slow procedures adopted by the ministry in processing applications for group employment visas, which widely affects the businessmen sector and impedes the flow of business in the country," argued a group of members.

They complain to the house that applications for group employment visa are always unnecessarily delayed and that the ministry usually declines to accept most of the applications for employment visa, and reduces the number of labourers required by recruiting parties, regardless of the business volume.

The members also criticised the ministry for holding applicants responsible for any typing error that might occur in the application forms.

"Typing mistakes should be checked before paying the non-refundable applications fees. It is not proper that applicants have to be penalised for minor mistakes in the application forms," said NCC member Khalifa bin Jubara Al Marrar.

The council speaker assured the members that the issue would be tabled with senior officials at the ministry for convenient solutions.

Responding to a criticism against the ministry for tending to reject most of the applications for employment visas, Dr Khalid Mohammed Al Khazraji has earlier clarified that according to the ministry's data base only 10 per cent of the applications for group employment visas, are rejected for incomplete papers required to process the visa or non-compliance with the 32 conditions set for obtaining employment visa.

The under-secretary, also revealed that the ministry would next month introduce a new advanced portable system based on the Internet, to guarantee a quick and efficient issuance of employment visa.

Meanwhile, the House on Monday also issued some recommendations concerning low cost houses and plot of lands, which are without ownership and scattering throughout the Eastern Region.

The council proposed that low cost houses should be maintained and repaired while heirs of these houses, should be given the full right to sell and rent these properties, most of which are deserted.

Nationals should also be compensated for plot of lands without ownership, which the government offered them, and taken away by the municipality, recommended the house.

Approving the proposal of the house, member Mohammed Rashid Al Nasiri said: "nationals should have the right to avail of these properties, which have become for many locals a resort for escaping the bustling and humdrum of urban life." He also suggested that to maintain a beauty and civilised look of Al Ain city, the cattle market, should be relocated in a remote area.

To avoid traffic congestion, other amenities like schools and hospitals, should be located in different parts of the city, proposed Mr Nasiri.

Listening to a report prepared by the Eastern Region about the development projects and services provided by the municipality in the region, officials at the municipality told the house that at the expense of the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan 3880 houses, were built in different parts of the Eastern Region, in addition, 350 plot of lands, were distributed among nationals.

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