A member of the Shoura Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has just demanded that Saudi women should be allowed to work in the small grocery stores or baqalas, while being in compliance with the rules of Shariah. Another member of the Shoura Council had earlier on proposed to close down these shops in order to boost nationalization. Fahad Bin Jumaa had been quoted by a local newspaper as saying that several efforts are currently under way in order to employ women in all of the sectors in the Kingdom. A recent decision has also stipulated that the workforce for mobile phones should only comprise of Saudi women and men.
He added that there are several small shops in every neighborhood which could employ the Saudi women, especially since there is a clear barrier between the customers and the men. He also called for the closure of all grocery stores and small shops at 9 p.m. just like all other markets in the Kingdom Bin Jumaa added that the retail sector is in dire need of more regulations in order to complete eliminate cheating and also contribute towards employing a higher number of Saudis, keeping in mind the current malpractices of labor done by the small shops.
The member of the Shoura Council stated that these small shops need to be monitored closely and be introduced to an accounting system which will be the same in all small shops which will allow networking for accounting; additionally these accounts would directly deposit money in to the account of the establishment. Simultaneously he also added that a certified accountant should be allocated to each shop, even if there is only one employee in the shop, similar to how it is done in foreign countries. Furthermore Zakat payment will be implemented and made compulsory.
He stated that computerization of the small shops by entering all of the products and goods into the proper system will be contributing in employing a higher number of Saudis and will significantly decrease the rate of unemployment. A variety of smaller projects should be launched in order to employ productive families. Another member of the Shoura Council had called for the complete closure of all small grocery shops, stating that it will significantly help in the efforts of Saudization as the large supermarkets will be then able to absorb more nationals as their business volume will significantly increase.
Saudi experts have also openly welcomed this new proposal by the member of the Shoura Council, stating that the closure of such Baqalas and smaller grocery stores will without doubt boost the Saudization or Nationalization and will greatly help the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The majority of the smaller grocery stores and Baqalas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are currently being run or operated by the expatriates in neighborhoods of all size and are appearing to be extremely convenient places for the lower middle class and middle class (those without cars) to shop.
Source: Arab News
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