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January 26, 2016

16 Rabi Al Thani 1437 AH

6 085010 120010



To the students
of Sultan Qaboos
University, 2000

His Majestys Wisdom

Scholars and scientists of the past, such as astronomers,
had a limited view of the sky and the planets and only
observed a limited number of bodies, which were given
names. However, since that time numerous things have
been discovered which were totally unknown in earlier
times. So science and knowledge are renewable.

Founded 1975 . Volume 40 No. 286 | 56 Pages . Baisas 200 . Subscription OMR63 | ISO 9001:2008 Certied Company | Chairman/Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali | Printed & Published by Muscat Media Group






His Majesty
greets India,
MUSCAT: His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos bin Said has sent a cable
of congratulations to President
Pranab Mukherjee of India on
the occasion of the Republic Day.
In his cable, His Majesty the Sultan has expressed his sincere
congratulations and best wishes
of good health and happiness to
President Mukherjee and the Indian people further progress.




range anywhere from OMR50 to

Without giving any specic
numbers about the people ned,
Jahdamy conrmed that PACP
has been regularly taking action
against the vendors upon receiving complaints.
Citizens and residents should
contact the PACP at 80079009 to
report any violation. They should
also hand over the vendor name
and their vehicle number so that
PACP can take action against
them, he said.

PACP has asked

consumers to send
the vendors name
and vehicle number
for taking action if
UPDATE: Amnuay Gajeena, director-general of Thailands

Disease Control Department, at a news conference in Bangkok,

Thailand, on Monday. -Reuters

Omani infected
with MERS, son
Staff Reporter
MUSCAT: An Omani national
infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), his son
and hotel staff have been quarantined for two weeks, according to
the news reports. Even the passengers of the plane in which the
infected man travelled to Bangkok, have been kept in isolation.
The virus was found in a
71-year-old Omani man travelling to Bangkok. So far, 32 people
have been quarantined. Another
eight have been identied and
will also be quarantined, quoting
Amnuay Gajeena, director-general of Thailands Disease Control Department, media reported.
Were still doing an in-depth
investigation, so we may be able
to bring more people in, Amnuay
told Reuters.

According to Amnuay, the Omani man has slight fever, cough

and quickened breathing.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister
Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has
told Reuters that Thailands tourism industry would not be affected by the latest MERS case.
We think we have the situation under control, she said.
Were condent this will not
affect tourism in Thailand.
The World Health Organisation in its latest update on January 7 acknowledged 1,626 laboratory-conrmed cases of infection
with MERS from 26 countries,
and 586 related deaths.
MERS is caused by coronavirus from the same family as
the one that triggered Chinas
deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS). -Agencies

they are overcharged

by gas bottle sellers

Times News Service

MUSCAT: Gas cylinder customers are already suffering the sharp
end of Omans petrol price increase with reports that sellers are
hiking the cost of their products to
cover their increased fuel bills.
While they risk being ned by
the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) some
sellers have increased the price
of a 22kg cylinder of cooking gas
from OMR2.8 to OMR3.5 or even
OMR4 in extreme cases, residents
in Ruwi told Times of Oman.
These same cylinders are being
sold by distributors to the door
to door sellers for OMR2 and the
price of these have not changed.
Some 2.92 million cylinders are
sold in Muscat alone every year.
I was shocked to learn that
when my gas vendor said they
had increased their prices as
the petrol and diesel prices have
gone up, said S Basu, an Indian
expatriate, who lives in Rex Road
in Ruwi.
Basu is not alone. There are
others, who have faced a similar
situation in the last week. I used
to pay OMR3 for a 22-kg gas cyl-

million cylinders
are sold in Muscat
every year by the
gas vendors

inder, but last week I paid OMR

3.5, said Sushma, a resident of
Wadi Kabir.
Speaking to Times of Oman,
Umar Faisal Al Jahdamy, deputy
director of PACP, said that any
vendor selling a cylinder above
OMR3 is liable to be ned.
Although levying a nominal
charge of 300 to 500 baisas is allowed for the vendor if he carries the cylinder to multi-storied
apartments, he said.
Depending on the extent
of the offence, the nes could

Rising fuel price

Gas cylinder suppliers, however,
said they are being burdened
by the increasing cost of petrol
and diesel.
The prices of petrol and diesel are more so we are asking for
more money. Then there are costs
of vehicle insurance and wear and
tear of vehicles, conrmed a supplier. He also said that since the
early 90s suppliers had been buying gas cylinders for OMR2 and
selling it for OMR2.8.
The prot margin has remained the same, but not the cost
of living. And there are restrictions on carrying only a certain
number of cylinders in one vehicle, he added.
A senior official from Muscat Gas told the Times of Oman
(TOO) that they have already informed all the major distributors
that they should not hike the price
of gas cylinder for the consumers.
We issued this letter recently
following a government order,
he stated.
The official also said the company does not deal directly with
vendors. We supply to distributors from our plant in Wadi Kabir, who in turn move the cylinders in the city through vendors,
he added.




More budget hotels in Oman needed: Official

Omani volunteers cheer cancer patients

Tourism infrastructure in Oman needs to be developed to cater

to travellers with lower budgets as well, said a senior official
from a leading international travel agency chain. There are good
hotels in Oman on a high-end level, but there are some budget hotels
missing in the three or four-star category, Klaus Henschel, Managing
Director, Lufthansa City Centre International GmbH (LCCI), told the
Times of Oman in an exclusive interview. >A2



UN, Syria talks for

national ceasefire

Shareholders okay
Al Falaj Hotel sale

UN mediated talks
on ending the war in
Syria will push for a
countrywide ceasere, including
all parties except the two groups
designated as terrorists by the
United Nations, UN Syria envoy
said. The condition is it should
be a real ceasere and not just
local, De Mistura said. >A7


Gas hike has

customers in
Oman fuming


His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin
Said has sent a cable of greetings to Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia on
the occasion of his countrys
National Day. In his cable, His
Majesty expressed his sincere
greetings along with his best
wishes of good health and happiness to Cosgrove and the Australian people further progress
and prosperity.-ONA


Oman Hotels and

Tourism Company on
Monday said that its
shareholders have unanimously
approved a proposal to sell
assets and business of Al Falaj
Hotel (unit of Oman Hotels
and Tourism Company) for
OMR14m to Aitken Spence
Resorts (Middle East). >B1


HELPING HAND: Omani volunteers are planning to visit young cancer patients at the Royal Hospital to cheer them up. Supplied photo

MUSCAT: Indias freedom icon

Mahatma Gandhi once said, The
best way to nd yourself is to lose
yourself in the service of others.
That is what a group of Omani
volunteers are trying to achieve
by visiting young cancer patients
at the Royal Hospital to cheer
them up.
Through a campaign, entitled
Lets be their happiness, these
volunteers visit patients, who are
under 13-year-old and are battling
cancer and are in need of support.
Scores of youngsters showed
up on Sunday morning at the
Royal Hospitals Department of
Oncology to start a workshop on
cancer patients and how to deal
with them.
The team has also dedicated a
family day for the children to let

them meet as many of their family

members and to full their wishes
and dreams.
Five-day campaign
The ve-day campaign will also include entertainment activities and
giving gifts to the little ones.
The service provided by the
Royal Hospital staff is amazing
as they help children enjoy their
time and forget their pain, Afraa
Al Mamari, head of the volunteer
group said. >A6


For majority, government favourable employer

Times News Service







Banking and




civil service
& utilities





nor satised







Source: Top Industries in the Middle East and North Africa,



MUSCAT: Nearly 58 per cent of

respondents in Oman view the
government as a favourable employer, with 37 per cent seeing the
it as extremely favourable and
6 per cent saying it is extremely
unfavourable, according to a latest survey.
According to the recent Top
Industries in the Middle East and
North Africa survey, conducted
by, a career site in the
Middle East, and YouGov, an online market research organisation,
banking and nance emerged as
the industrys most attractive to
women (38 per cent) in Oman.
Government, civil service, utili-

ties are preferred by 30 per cent

women, and human resources by
27 per cent of the women surveyed.
Close to a third of the respondents in Oman are satised with
their current or most recent salary
packages (32 per cent), inclusive of
non-monetary benets, 6 per cent
of whom claimed to be completely satised. However, more than
one in ve of those surveyed said
they are completely dissatised
with their current or most recent
salary package (23 per cent).
Overall, 36 per cent of the respondents in Oman are satised
with their career growth, while 13
per cent are neither dissatised,
nor satised and 30 per cent are
completely dissatised. >A6

Stall owners positive

about sale prospects





LCCI can help make Oman the destination of

the year, which would be promoted internally
Klaus Henschel, Managing Director, LCCI

Oman needs to tap budget tourists

There are good hotels in Oman on a high-end
level, but budget hotels in the three or fourstar category are misisng, Klaus Henschel,
managing director, Lufthansa City Centre
International told the Times of Oman in an
exclusive interview

MUSCAT: Tourism infrastructure in Oman needs to be developed to cater to travellers with

lower budgets as well, said a senior

official from a leading international travel agency chain.
There are good hotels in Oman
on a high-end level, but some
budget hotels are missing in the

three or four-star category, Klaus

Henschel, managing director, Lufthansa City Centre International
GmbH (LCCI), told the Times of
Oman in an exclusive interview.
He was visiting Muscat to open
a new LCCI office in Madinat Al
Sultan Qaboos, along with Khimjis House of Travel, their franchisee partner in the Sultanate.
Their office was previously located
in Ruwi.
Destination of the year
Asked about the existing opportunities in Omans tourism sector, Henschel said LCCI can help
make Oman the destination of the
year, which would be promoted
However, this would require the
help and willingness of the tourism authorities in Oman, he added.

According to him, Oman has

cultural and natural beauty, which
can be offered to visitors in attractive packages, not only for highend tourists but also for budget

the eld for a while or to make a desert trip for a week and then sleep
in a tent in a desert, he noted.
So you have to be creative to
meet the individual demands of
each client, the official sated.

Changing demands
Commenting on the changes seen
in the behaviour and demand from
customers, Henschel said the individuality of each customer and
their mobility is increasing.
Sometimes the customers make
special demands for their holidays and staying only in a hotel or
just lying on the beach for several
days may no longer be the right
thing for some customers, he said,
adding, There are some niches
coming up.
For example, some people may
want to help the people working in

Henschel further said that in light
of slumping oil prices, it is the right
time for Oman to concentrate on
other sectors, such as tourism to
generate revenues.
Asked about the key areas of focus for LCCI in 2016, he said that
one of them is this region because
it is a growing market, although it
is not an easy market due to the ongoing political situation.
He also expressed optimism
that the ongoing harmonisation
with Iran could lead to more people travelling to and fro from Iran.


cultural and natural beauty,
which can be offered to visitors
in attractive packages, not only
for high-end tourists but also for
budget travellers. Jun Estrada


Share your
world with us
on Instagram




Safety of visiting ships vital

for regional trade: Experts


Bag handlers
seen tossing
MUSCAT: A video showing
baggage handlers tossing passengers luggage near an Oman
Air plane in Asia sparked comments online. Regarding the
video, Usama Al Harami, head
of the Communication and Media Department at Oman Air,
said the footage was taken in
an Asian country and that the
Asian airport staff were responsible for such violations.
Viral video
The video, which went viral
on Sunday, shows two workers, who appear to be unaware
they are being lmed, carelessly
throwing suitcases.
The clip was lmed outside
Oman, Oman Airports Management Company said on its
Twitter account.
DELIBERATIONS: The 13th annual meeting of the Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding for inspection and control of vessels began yesterday in Muscat. Times of Oman

Stress was laid on the need for a secure and

safe passage of ships entering Omani ports,
as well as other ports in the Arabian Gulf by
Said Hamdoon Saif Al Harthi, undersecretary
of Ports and Maritime Affairs at the Ministry
of Transport and Communications

MUSCAT: Safety of ships entering the ports of the Arabian Gulf is
essential for the regions position
in trade and commerce, as well as
for Omans interests, specialists in
the eld of marine security said.
The topic was discussed following a series of meetings of the

Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State

Control that started on Monday
between officials of the Ministry of
Transport and Communications
and marine specialists.
On the occasion of the opening
ceremony, Said Hamdoon Saif Al
Harthi, undersecretary of Ports
and Maritime Affairs at the Ministry of Transport and Commu-

nications, stressed the need for a

secure and safe passage of ships
entering Omani ports, as well as
other ports in the Arabian Gulf.
When you see how congested
the ports in the Gulf are, preserving the environment, safety and
security of passage of ships is essential, he said.
He further noted the importance
of the Gulfs waters as they are the
lifeblood of the world economy.
Abdulwahab Al Diwani, director
of Marine Transport Affairs at the
UAE-based National Transport
Authority, told the Times of Oman
(TOO) that improving the standards of ships entering the regional
ports is a shared responsibility of
port authorities and shipping rms.
Since they have cargo for us, we
need them, but they also need us.
Our role is to provide them with
good berthing facilities; their role
is to improve their standards of
shipping. We aim to eliminate the
sub-standard ships among them,
he stated.

Al Diwani said the examples of
such cases are the inadequate
treatment of staff, equipment
harming the environment and
stowaways. We want to see that
the ships that are coming to our
ports are clean and safe, he added.
Richard Schiferli, secretary
general of the Paris MoU on Port
State Control, the equivalent of
the Riyadh MoU in Europe, told
TOO that vessels should not risk
a maritime disaster, such as that
experienced in Europe. He added
that this was especially vital in
the Arabian Gulf, where a lot of oil
tankers passed by.
Ships should be safe, as the Gulf
coasts are at risk of environmental
damage due to oil leaks, he said.
Rashid Al Kiuni, chairman of
Riyadh MoU said the MoU was established in 2004 to encourage cooperation between member states
to ensure that foreign ships comply
with international safety standards. In his speech, he stressed the

success of training staff.

The MoU plays an important
and critical role in ensuring safety,
as well as the well-being of the environment. There has been a tangible improvement in safety control
of vessels since the MoU was established, he said.
Al Kiuni added that staff inspecting the ships have gained
great knowledge since the MoU
was signed. Schiferli of the Paris
MoU acknowledged that training
staff in the Gulf is essential for
improving the level of inspection
and at par with the latest global
The shipping industry is always under pressure. There are
still companies that neglect the
maintenance of their ships and
treatment of their staff, he said.
The technical discussions during the next two days will result
in 12 working papers, according
to Mohammed Shaban Al Zadjali,
director of the MoUs Secretariat
and Information Centre.

78 per cent
rise in real
estate trade
MUSCAT: A growth of 78 per
cent was recorded in the value
of traded contracts in real estate sector during 2015 which
stood at OMR5,217,755,000
OMR2,925,835,760 in 2014.
Abdullah bin Salim Al Mekhaini, Secretary of the Real
Estate Registry at the Ministry
of Housing said that real estate
activity witnessed a remarkable
increase in most of real estate
transactions in 2015 compared
to 2014. He added that collected
fees during the year 2015 stood
at OMR62,054,000 compared
to OMR49,796,168 in 2014; a
growth by 25 per cent. -ONA



For detailed coverage log on to


Traders from around
the world and region
are participating in
this years Muscat
Festival where they
are selling products
at cheaper rates
than their normal
retail prices

MUSCAT: More than a hundred
stalls in the Traders Village are
selling a variety of products to
Muscat Festival visitors in Naseem Park and traders are positive about activity during the rest
of the month.
Traders from around the world
and region are participating in
this years Muscat Festival where
they have products on display at
cheaper selling prices than retail.

I really thought that people

would buy a lot of our products
since it is cheaper than retail and
they are quality products nevertheless, said a trader from the
United Arab Emirates.
Maybe it is because the rst
week and the activity is slow, so
I have high hopes in the coming
days, he added.
Countries, such as the UAE,
China besides Oman, have displayed products ranging from
beauty products, abayas and toys
to Levant sweets, shoes and wedding dresses.
Raouf, a Tunisian resident
said, I have visited the Muscat
Festival every year and I am always excited to see what products there are on offer. I always
end up buying things from here.
When asked if he thought that
activity is slow and not many people are buying these products, he
said, Maybe people are reluctant
to buy because of austerity, but I
believe after giving the products a
second look, they will surely buy
something and enjoy it.
Disproving the lack of activity, an Algerian trader, who did
not wished to be named said, I
dont know about the other stalls,
but my stall is active because we
display quality products at cheap
prices. Im making quite a prot
and Im thankful for that.

BIG BARGAIN: Countries, such as the UAE, China besides Oman, have displayed products ranging from beauty products, abayas and toys to
Levant sweets, shoes and wedding dresses. Supplied photos


Tweet all
about it






Price for water tankers xed, Ali Al Habsi to open rst ITL
unchanged, says PAEW
World office in the Sultanate
MUSCAT: Water price is xed
and has remained unchanged
since it was approved years ago,
Public Authority for Electricity
and Water (PAEW) has said.
In a statement yesterday,
PAEW said that the current approved price for the water tankers owner is 1 baiza per gallon for
tankers less than 700 gallons and
3 baisas per gallon for water tankers more than 700 gallons.
The selling price for a 650
gallon water tanker is thus 650
baisas and for the 1,000 gallon
tanker is OMR3. The statement
follows the news circulated by

the social network users about

the increase of water prices after
the recent increase in fuel prices.
PAEW said that it is not involved in xing the water selling
price by water tanker owners to
house owners and consumers.
Despite the tough topography
of the Sultanate, PAEW is making steady efforts to provide potable water to residents in the different parts of the Sultanate.
PAEWs high quality transport
and distribution network will
cover 98 per cent of the residents
of the Sultanate by the year 2040,
the statement further said. -ONA

Times News Service

Expect shortage
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Al Saruj, Shatti Al Qurum and Al Azaiba
areas may face water
shortage as a main pipeline has reportedly burst
in the wilayat of Bausher.
It will take about 24 hours
to repair it, PAEW said.

Drive launched
to save turtles

MUSCAT: Omani football superstar Ali Al Habsi will officiate at

the opening of ITL Worlds rst ofce in Oman on January 27.
Located in Al Khuwair, behind
Home Centre and opposite Muscat Bakery, ITL World offers the
public a wide variety of travel
ITL World began operations in
the Middle East from Dubai in
2006. Since then, ITL World has
rapidly expanded and today has

Sessions held
on media crises
Times News Service

Society of Oman has
launched a campaign
to raise awareness on
how individuals can
make a difference
by protecting
Loggerhead turtles

Staff Reporter
MUSCAT: Human impact is the
main cause for the decline in the
population of the Loggerhead, an
oceanic turtle found on the Masirah Island, said the Research
and Conservation Manager at
the Environment Society of
Oman (ESO).
He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a campaign
by the ESO to raise awareness on
how individuals can make a difference by protecting turtles.
Oman has the second largest
nesting population of Loggerhead
sea turtles in the world.
Human impact, such as light
pollution, coastal construction,
vehicle movement and shery
activities are the main reason for
the extinction of the Loggerheads
on the Oman coast, Maia Sarrouf
Willson, the research and conservation manager of ESO, said.
According to the ESO, a global

Oman has second largest nesting population of Loggerhead

turtles in the world. Supplied photo

assessment of the Loggerhead

sea turtle was completed last
year by a global network of sea
turtle experts of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group, International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN).
As per the study, the North
West Indian Ocean Loggerhead
sub-population, which nests in
Oman and Yemen, has been classied as critically endangered,
the highest threat category
on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
ESO cluster also said the assessment shows that the subpopulation declined by 80 per
cent during the past three generations, and today it faces a high risk
of extinction in the wild, in the
immediate future.
According to a study by IUCN,
an estimated 13,000 Loggerhead
females nest on the Masirah
Island annually. But ESO data
points out that this number is
below 30,000 to 40,000 females,

which was estimated in scientic

research conducted around two
decades ago.
According to Dana Al Sarhani,
a board member of ESO, they are
conducting various activities to
protect the Loggerheads on the
Masirah Island.
Our turtle research and conservation team conducts various
activities that include environmental monitoring by our eld
assistants on Masirah Island,
which has helped us to recognise
the current decline in population
status, Al Sarhani told the Times
of Oman.
We also study and document
beach use impact of various
stakeholders that use beaches
where the turtles nest, she added.
The board member also stated
that over the years, they have collaborated with the community,
schools and authorities to conduct beach clean-ups and have installed signage with tips for beach
users to protect the habitat of the
turtles on Masirah.
According to Al Sarhani, in association with the women in Masirah, ESO has worked together
to hold workshops for creating
products and raising awareness
within their communities.
Our community outreach extends to the shermen of Masirah, with whom we have engaged
with over the years to educate and
guide them on the importance of
turtles in their livelihoods, Al
Sarhani said.
In direct relation to our sea
turtle conservation efforts in Masirah, we have been able to create
job opportunities and raise the
capacity and interest within the
local community, she asserted.

MUSCAT: A training course

in Media Crises Management
being held from January 21
and continuing until February 3, is being sponsored by the
Omani Journalists Association
(OJA) at its headquarters in
Airport Heights.
This training course comes
as part of OJAs training programme for the current year,
which includes 21 different
training courses in professional and specialised elds
that promote the skills of
mass media professionals and
keeps pace with technological
OJA also organises other
training programmes to for its
members. The four-day course
aims to instruct participants
in how to manage media crises
and provide brief information
about the role of media in crises

over 35 offices in markets including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain,

Qatar, UAE, Oman, India, Malaysia
and Thailand.
Parent brand
ITL World, part of the Eram group
of companies, is the parent brand
of both Miceminds and Arabian
Experience, and has received repeated recognition at the international level.
ITL World has also been rated
as the fth Most Powerful Travel
Company in the Middle East for
two consecutive years, in 2014 and
2015, by Arabian Travel News.

Omani football superstar Ali Al

Habsi. File photo




Indian expats living in Oman are hoping

for more jobs and security in the country.
Expats wish success for India on Republic Day eve



Yousefs photography exhibition at Gallery Sarah

Times News Service
MUSCAT: Re Sepia, a photography exhibition by Yousef Al Jabri,
was unveiled on January 25, 2016
at Gallery Sarah in Bait Al Zubair.
Yousef bin Salam Al Jabri started using the medium of photography in 2008.
Trained photographer
He trained as a photographer and
a videographer in the Seventh Dimension Production Institution,
participating in several courses,
exhibitions and workshops related
to photography and art.
Yousef is a photographer who
has a deep artistic dimension to
his personality. He sees images
from several angles and beauties the nature around him with
his insightful touches to create his

own world. Yousefs work moves

beyond typical photography to
express his thoughts and is inuenced by surrealism and portrayal
of natural scenes.
Re Sepia
Re Sepia is the conclusion to experiments carried out by Yousef
Al Jabri.
Through these photographic
experiments, he restructures sepia colours through gradations of
brown and neutral colours to create forms that draw viewers in.
Contemporary art gallery
Located in the historical section of
Old Muscat and part of the Bait Al
Zubair Museum complex, Gallery
Sarah is a contemporary art gallery
that opened its doors in 2013.
The gallery exhibits artworks


A1 Combat cancer

including, but not limited to,

paintings, graphics, calligraphy, installations, sculpture and
Omani artists
Apart from trying to create a
strong connection between established and emerging Omani artists
and the international art world,
Gallery Sarah also supports and
has an appreciation for work by a
wide variety of talented Arab artists from around the Gulf and international artists.
For more information about
the exhibition and Gallery Sarah
activities visit www.gallerysarah.
The Re Sepia exhibition will
continue until February 8. Exhibition hours are 9:30am to 6:00pm,
Sunday to Thursday.

EXPRESSION OF THOUGHT: Yousef is a photographer who sees

images from several angles and beauties the nature around him
with his insightful touches to create his own world. Supplied picture



She added that cancer patients

need to have a decent knowledge
about the disease in order to combat it in the best way possible.
Al Mamari said the charitable
organisation in Oman can offer a
big help to blood cancer patients
by providing them with money for
treatment abroad. The team will
conclude its drive on Thursday.

Foreign investment law to

create jobs, woo investors
MUSCAT: New foreign investment law would provide a conducive environment for investment
and make the Sultanate more
attractive for local and foreign
investments, said Sheikh Hamad
bin Jabr Al Mahrouqi, Director
General of Planning and Follow
Up at the Ministry of Commerce
and Industry.
He said that it would also create fresh job opportunities for
job-seekers and extend investments to all economic sectors.
The Ministry of Commerce
and Industry, in collaboration
with the World Bank Group, on
Monday organised a seminar to

discuss the foreign investment

map and the third draft of the
foreign investment capital law in
the Sultanate.
The seminar, which was attended by a number of representatives of the private sector
and NGOs, aims at sharing views
and proposals on the foreign investment map and the draft new
foreign investment law.
Sheikh Hamad said the ministry had been revising and updating the Foreign Investment Law
promulgated by the Royal Decree No. 102/94. To do this, the
ministry involved all supportive
public and private sector organi-

sations, such as the advocacy and

audit rms.
He pointed out that the ministry, in collaboration with the
World Bank, completed the third
draft of the Omani Foreign Investment Law and the revision
of the foreign investment map.
The draft law and the investment map will be discussed
tomorrow (Tuesday) with representatives of concerned government agencies.
The opening ceremony was
sponsored by Eng. Ahmed bin
Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. -ONA

Majlis okays
report on
Traffic Law
MUSCAT: Majlis Al Shura approved the report of the Joint Committee with State Council on the
remarks about the draft amendments to the Traffic Law, which
was approved by Shura as His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said
had requested to reconsider such
It held a general discussion on the
economic and nancial conditions
of the state in light of the decline
in oil prices in world markets and
the effect of the same on the state
budget, as well as the precautionary
measures to be taken by the government to address this situation.
The members exchanged views
and proposals on how to boost the
Omani economy. After the general
discussion, Majlis Al Shura decided
to form an ad-hoc committee for
studying the economic challenges
facing the Sultanate and propose
the alternatives to alleviate the effect of the oil price slump on the
Omani economy.
The Majlis Al Shura also approved the nancial declaration
by the members in response to the
proposal of Shura office, which is in
line with the Protection of Public
Funds and Avoidance of Conict of
Interests Law issued by the Royal
Decree No. 112/2011.
After detailed discussions, Shura
also approved the vision of the Economic and Financial Committee
on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal
Evasion with respect to Taxes on
Income between the Sultanate and
Estonia. It also approved the draft
amendments to the Trade Facilitation Convention, Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights and the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding
System. -ONA

Expatriates seek more

jobs, security in India
Expats hope that this
year, prime minister
Modi will full the
promises he made
two years ago when
he won the elections
REHEARSAL: IAFs planes y-past over the Parliament House during a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day in New Delhi. -PTI

Times News Service

MUSCAT: On the eve of Indias
Republic Day, Indian expats
living in Oman are hoping for
more jobs and security, as well
a growing economy that meets
the aspirations of a young and
vibrant country.
Aloke K, an engineer by profession, said he expects all-round development and better scal management to tide over any impact of

the global meltdown. I am positive that we shall beat the global

trend and continue to inspire investors from across the globe, he
told the Times of Oman.
Another expat, S. Ghosh said
the safety of Indians still remains
a huge concern whenever he goes
to India. The BJP government
under the leadership of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi will be
completing two years and now we

expect India to concentrate more

on improving the safety of common people, he said.
Hailing from Patna, Ganesh
Upadhyay, said he expects India
to attract foreign investment and
hopes the BJP government will
simplify the business process for
setting up a business.
Though a drop in oil prices is
hampering the Middle East market, it may work to the advantage

of India, he stated. Expats also

hoped that this year, PM Modi
will work to full promises he
made two years ago when he won
the elections. We also want more
ights to India, especially from
Salalah as a large number of Indians live here, said Suresh, who is
based in Salalah.
Many expats also hoped that
work would start on developing smart cities, bullet trains and
achieving greater air connectivity
between both the countries.
They also expressed optimism
that the Make in India campaign
announced by Modi would receive a boost this year with more
foreign direct investment.
Home to one sixth of world population, Indian expats also believe
India will work towards the goal
of providing health, education and
empowerment for all Indians.
Expats hoped that the IndiaOman ties will strengthen in the
coming months. We Indians
feel proud to be accepted within
the cultural fabric of the Oman,
they added.



A1 Construction most stressful industry for 34%

In terms of maintaining a work
life balance, more than half of the
respondents in Oman are satised
(58 per cent), with almost one in
ve (18 per cent) being completely satised. Just 13 per cent of
those surveyed are or were completely dissatised.
Almost half of the respondents
in Oman are or were satised with
their work culture (46 per cent),
61 per cent with their working
hours and 53 per cent with their
job security. In fact, 31 per cent
of the respondents are or were
somewhat satised with their
work culture, while 15 per cent
are or were completely satised.
Close to a third (30 per cent)
of respondents are or were completely satised with their working hours, while a mere 13 per cent
are or were completely dissatised and 17 per cent claimed to
be completely dissatised with
the job security offered by their
In terms of training and development, 12 per cent of Omani

respondents claimed to be completely satised and 24 per cent

somewhat satised with the
programmes available to them.
However, 47 per cent of respective respondents are somewhat
or completely dissatised with
the training and development
programmes in their companies.
Construction emerged as the
most stressful industry for 34 per
cent of Omani respondents. Oil,
gas and petrochemicals or energy,
hospitality, entertainment, tourism and manufacturing or engineering were also perceived as
stressful sectors by 27 per cent,
16 per cent and 16 per cent of the
respondents, respectively.
On the other hand, internet, ecommerce, agriculture and charity or volunteer work was dened
as the most stressful industries
only by 1 per cent, 3 per cent
and 4 per cent of the respective
Construction also topped the
list for the longest working hours
for more than a third of Omans

respondents (38 per cent), followed by oil, gas and petrochemicals/energy (28 per cent).
Seeking employment
The most popular industry for
respondents, who are currently
seeking employment, across the
Middle East and North Africa
(MENA), are IT/electronics/telecommunications (9 per cent).
Conversely, the least popular
industries for job seekers are real
estate, charity, volunteering work,
management consulting and agriculture (all at 1 per cent).
According to respondents, industries with a propensity for
hiring fresh graduates include
government, civil services, utilities (28 per cent), banking, nance
(25 per cent) and military, defence, police and security services
(22 per cent).
Another major nding of the
survey is that only 27 per cent of
MENA respondents have changed
their industry in the last two
years. This was certainly the case

in Oman, where 70 per cent of respondents have not changed their

industry in the last two years. For
those who have changed industry
across the MENA region, better
salaries (37 per cent), better opportunities for career growth (32
per cent) and a lack of recognition
(30 per cent) are the top three reasons for their change.
Close to half of those surveyed
in Oman are considering an industry change in the next few months
(49 per cent), while just under one
third (32 per cent) of the respondents dont know/cant say.
For 61 per cent of the MENA respondents, who consider an industry change, a higher salary was the
top reason, while 39 per cent considered enhanced career growth
opportunities as an important reason for changing industries.
Suhail Masri, vice president of
Employer Solutions at,
said: Its a very good sign that 46
per cent of respondents in Oman
are satised with their work




Chanting Wages still in the red and We defend

the nation, we want our rights, police in civilian
clothes marched to the presidential palace in
Carthage on the outskirts of the capital Tunis

UN expects Syria talks from Friday

Discussions on who
should take part were
ongoing in various
capitals, including
Washington, Moscow,
Ankara and Riyadh,
said UN Syria envoy
Staffan de Mistura

GENEVA: Talks on ending the

war in Syria are expected to start
on Friday and take six months, although invitations have still not
been sent due to intense disagreements, the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told a news conference on Monday.
There are political risks. And
you will hear them as soon as you
will hear the fact that I intend to
do them on the 29th and that we
will be issuing invitations tomorrow, said De Mistura, who hopes
to send out invitations on Tuesday.
Discussions on who should take
part were ongoing in various capitals, including Washington, Moscow, Ankara and Riyadh, he said.
First phase
The rst phase of talks would last
2-3 weeks, with a focus on a ceasere, stopping IS and increasing
humanitarian aid. Governance, a
constitutional review and future
UN sponsored elections would
also be priorities, he said.
I can tell you in advance, dont
be surprised, there will be a lot of

REDUCED TO RUBBLE: People inspect a site hit by what residents said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in the town of
Turmanin, in Idlib Governorate near the Syrian-Turkish border, on Monday. Reuters

posturing, a lot of walk-outs or

walk-ins because a bomb has fallen or because someone has done
an attack, and you will see that
happening. You should neither be
depressed or impressed, but its
likely to happen.
The important thing is that we
keep the momentum.
The talks, often referred to as
Geneva 3 because of two previous UN processes that failed
to stop the war, will also include

womens groups, civil society and

others, and De Mistura will begin
with shuttle diplomacy between
various camps, with proximity
talks rather than face-to-face negotiations.
He will push for a countrywide
real ceasere, including all parties except the two groups designed as terrorists by the United Nations - IS and Al Nusra.
Earlier in the day, US Secretary
of State John Kerry said he hoped


Tunisian policemen march to

palace demanding pay rise
CARTHAGE (TUNISIA): Several thousand Tunisian police
marched to the presidential palace on Monday to demand more
pay in the latest challenge to
Prime Minister Habib Essids
government after a week of protests and riots over jobs.
Tunisias security forces are
at the forefront of the countrys
war with militants, who have attacked army checkpoints and
patrols and launched major assaults on a tourist hotel a museum and the presidential guard
last year. Chanting Wages still
in the red and We defend the
nation, we want our rights, police in civilian clothes marched
to the presidential palace in
Carthage on the outskirts of the
capital Tunis.
Job seekers also staged a fresh
protest in the central town of Sidi
Bouzid and were dispersed by police using tear gas, witnesses said.
Unemployed youths were also
holding a sit-in at a government
building in the city of Kasserine,
and a similar protests were held
in the southern city of Gafsa and
the northern town of Beja.
Increasing challenges
Tunisias government is facing
increasing challenges including
a split in the ruling party Nidaa
Tounes, a stubborn militant insurgency, a weak economy and
the explosion last week of social
tensions over jobs and opportunities. Thousands of young men
took to the streets in Kasserine

DEMANDING HIKE: Tunisian policemen wave the national

ag and shout slogans during a demonstration outside Tunis
Carthage Palace on Monday. AFP

last week after an unemployed

man committed suicide when he
was refused a job. That sparked
protest and riots across the country until the government declared
a nationwide curfew.
The protests were the worst
since the uprising that toppled
autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
ve years ago and underscored
how vulnerable the North African
country remains to social unrest.
We are looking to improve
our situation like other sectors,
especially as we are the frontline
in defending the country, Chokri
Hamada, a police union spokesman at the protest in Tunis told
Reuters. We dont have any trust
in the government after all their
Presidential guards blocked

the road near the palace where

around 3,000 police gathered in
peaceful protest. The government
is already under pressure from international lenders to cut public
spending and trim its budget decit as part of economic reforms
meant to bolster growth and jobs.
France, Tunisias former colonial ruler, last week pledged 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) over ve
years to help Tunisia deal with its
transition to democracy.
Tunisia managed to avoid the
violent after-shocks seen in other countries that toppled longstanding leaders in Egypt, Yemen
and Libya. Its young democracy
brought a new constitution, a political compromise between secular and hardline parties and free
elections. Reuters


Libyas recognised parliament rejects

UN-backed plan for unity government
internationally recognised parliament voted on Monday to reject a
unity government proposed under a UN-backed plan to resolve
the countrys political crisis and
armed conict.
Of 104 members attending the
session in the eastern city of Tobruk, 89 voted against backing the
Since 2014, Libya has had two
competing parliaments and governments, one based in Tripoli
and the other in the east.
Both are backed by loose alliances of armed groups and for-

mer rebels who helped topple

Muammar Gadda in 2011.
Eastern lawmakers said the
proposed 32-member government had been rejected because it
included too many posts.
They said that the Tunis-based
Presidential Council now had 10
days to put forward a new, shorter
list of ministers.
Lawmaker Mohamed Al Abani
told Reuters that the proposed
administration also did not represent the interests of the Libyan
people but had been formed according to the demands of militia

In a second vote, the Tobruk

parliament approved the UNmediated agreement that sets out
a political transition for Libya
and under which the Presidential Council operates. However,
lawmakers rejected a clause that
transfers power over the armed
forces to the prime minister.
Representatives from both
sides of Libyas political divide
signed the UN-backed plan in
Morocco in December, but the
agreement has faced stiff opposition from many members of the
two parliaments and from factions on the ground. Reuters

for clarity within 24 to 48 hours

on Syrian peace talks that were
supposed to have started in Geneva on Monday, and that it was better to delay a few days than to have
them crumble at the start.
Kerry told reporters on a visit
to Laos he agreed with the United
Nations Special Envoy for Syria
Staffan de Mistura that invitations
for the talks should not be sent out
until you have pieces lined up.
The future of the talks was in

the hands of the Syrian parties, he

added. They have to be serious. If
they are not serious, war will continue. Up to them - you can lead a
horse to water; you cant make it
drink, Kerry said.
We have created a framework;
the Syrians have the ability to decide the future of Syria.
We will have to see what decision Staffan makes as to exactly
how he is going to begin; but we
dont want to decide and have it

crumble on day one. Its worth

taking a day or two, or three,
or whatever.
He rejected comments from the
lead negotiator of the Syrian opposition, who said on Sunday it was
coming under pressure from him
to attend the talks.
I dont know where this is
coming from. Maybe its a pressure thing or an internal political
thing, but that is not the situation,
he said.
They are the negotiators; so
they will decide the future. What I
did tell them is that its by mutual
consent. You have a veto, so does
he, so you are going to have to decide how to move forward here,
Kerry said, referring to Syrian
leader Bashar Al Assad.
The position of the United
States is and hasnt changed, that
we are still supporting the opposition politically, nancially and
militarily, he added. Kerry said
another meeting of the International Syria Support Group, of
countries supporting the Syria
peace process, had been tentatively called for February 11.
Meanwhile, a suicide bomber
driving a fuel tank blew himself
up on Monday at a checkpoint run
by Islamist group Ahrar Al Sham
in Syrias northern city of Aleppo
killing at least 23 people, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that four of
the groups commanders and four
civilians are believed to be among
those killed.
It said that the attack in the
citys Sukari neighbourhood destroyed three nearby buildings and
wounded dozens of people while
many are believed to be stuck under rubble. Ahrar Al Sham officials
were not immediately available for
comment. Reuters



It is commendable the way
EC has taken up initiatives for
informed and ethical voting
Pranab Mukherjee, President


Use of black money, muscle power in polls cause of worry: Pranab

NEW DELHI: President Pranab
Mukherjee on Monday expressed
concern over the abuse of money
and muscle power in elections,
contending these malpractices
subvert the spirit of democracy.
He also urged the Election Commission to reach out to young voters who do not have access to digital and social media platforms.
The abuse of money and muscle power to inuence voters remains a cause of concern. The
spirit of democracy will be subverted if these malpractices are
not checked, Mukherjee said addressing the 6th National Voters
Day celebrations by the EC here.
The day is celebrated to mark the
foundation of the Election Commission on January 25, 1950 and is
observed with much fanfare by the
poll panel and its associate agencies across the country with an aim
to increase voter participation.
The president also lauded the
poll body for undertaking innovative ways to reach out to the electorate, particularly youth, so they
exercise their right to vote in a free
and fair manner as soon as they are
Digital opportunities
He said while social media has
raised awareness amongst the
youth about the elections process,

special attention has to be paid to

those who are outside the ambit
of the digital opportunities.
It is commendable the way
EC has taken up initiatives for informed and ethical voting, he said,
adding India takes pride in being
the largest functional democracy in the world where more than
850 million people participate in
Mukherjee said elections in
India were not merely a festival
of democracy but also a gigantic
administrative exercise, a task,
which the EC and its officials have
rendered with perfect impartiality and fearlessness.
Mukherjee, while calling himself a former practising political
activist, said world leaders and
thinkers did not appreciate India,
with its low literacy, high poverty
and backwardness, becoming a
Republic. A personal friend of
former prime minster Jawaharlal
Nehru, he said, wrote to him that
your idealism will be frustrated
on ground of reality but he himself later on admitted that India
graduated with distinction after
the rst general elections were
held successfully.
He called ECs new initiatives
as exemplary, including the innovation of Electronic Voting
Machines (EVM) as they drasti-

cally shortened the time taken for

counting of votes and declaring results. India has about 85 crore registered voters, with 1.8 crore new
electors added to the electoral rolls
in the recent past, Chief Election
Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi
on Monday said.
I am very happy to inform the
gathering that 1.8 crore or 18 million new voters have been registered in our electoral rolls as on
January 1 and ahead of the National Voters Day (NVD).
With this addition, the total
number of voters in the country
has touched about 85 crore or 850
million mark which is equal to
population of some continents on
stand alone basis or in combination, the CEC said at an event to
mark the sixth NVD here.
Zaidi said the poll body has
made good progress in adding
new voters, in the age group of
18-19 years.
In India, a citizen can vote after
attaining the age of 18 years.
Enrolment of 18-19 year age
group has always been a matter of
concern. Commission is pleased
to inform that 50 per cent of total
voters of this age group have now
been enrolled which is a remarkable progress compared with earlier
10 to 15 per cent a few years ago,
he said. - PTI

NATIONAL VOTERS DAY CELEBRATIONS: President Pranab Mukherjee lighting the lamp at the sixth
National level function of National Voters Day (NVD), in New Delhi on Monday. Chief Election Commissioner, Nasim Zaidi and the Election Commissioner A.K. Joti are also seen. - PTI

Peace cannot be discussed

under shower of bullets
to all citizens justice, equality, and
gender and economic equity.
When grim instances of violence hit at these established values which are at the core of our
nationhood, it is time to take note.
We must guard ourselves against
the forces of violence, intolerance
and unreason, he said.

President Pranabb
Mukherjee said
nations will not agree
on everything but the
challenge today is
existential because
terrorists seek to
undermine order by
rejecting the very
basis of strategic
stability which are
recognised borders
ADDRESS TO NATION: President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the nation on the eve of 67th Republic Day Celebration at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. - PTI

NEW DELHI: In signicant remarks against the backdrop of

the Pathankot attack, President
Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that disagreement with neighbours should be resolved through
dialogue but we cannot discuss
peace under a shower of bullets.
He also said terrorism is a war beyond any doctrine and is a cancer
which must be operated out with a
rm scalpel.
There is no good or bad terrorism; it is pure evil, the president

said in his address to the nation on

the eve of 67th Republic Day.
Mukherjee said nations will not
agree on everything but the challenge today is existential because
terrorists seek to undermine order by rejecting the very basis of
strategic stability which are recognised borders.
If outlaws are able to unravel

borders, then we are heading towards an age of chaos. There will

be disputes among nations; and,
as is well known, the closer we are
to a neighbour, the higher the propensity for disputes.
There is a civilised way to
bridge disagreements; dialogue,
ideally, should be a continual engagement. But we cannot discuss
peace under a shower of bullets,
he said.

The president also utilised the

occasion to caution the country to
guard itself against forces of violence, intolerance and unreason.
Intolerance debate
Against the backdrop of debate on
intolerance in the country, he said
reverence for the past is one of the
essential ingredients of nationalism. Our nest inheritance, the
institutions of democracy, ensure

Consensus building
In a delicate balancing act, he appeared to counsel the law makers
and the government that it was
their duty to ensure reforms and
enactment of progressive legislations for which a spirit of accommodation and consensus building
should be the preferred mode of
decision making.
For revitalising the forces of
growth, the president said there is
need for reforms and progressive
It is the bounden duty of the
law makers to ensure that such
legislation is enacted after due
discussion and debate.
A spirit of accommodation, cooperation and consensus-building should be the preferred mode
of decision-making. Delays in
decision-making and implementation can only harm the process
of development, he said.
The presidents remarks assume signicance in the context
of the deadlock over the Constitution amendment bill on the Goods
and Services Tax (GST) following
Congress three main demands
which the government has refused to concede. - PTI


Jet Airways flight

to Kathmandu
halted over
bomb threat
NEW DELHI: A Kathmandubound Jet Airways ight with 111
people on board was on Monday
halted minutes before take-off
from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here after a bomb
threat and the plane was grounded
and being searched thoroughly.
The bomb threat call, which
later turned out to be a hoax, arose
at a time when security is at an alltime high in view of the Republic
Day celebrations on Tuesdayacross the country and especially
in Delhi. The stranded ight later
got security clearance and took off
for Nepals capital at 1930 hours
after a six-hour delay. The ight
departed with all 104 passengers
onboard, an airport official said.
This is the second incident in
the last two days as on Saturday a
GoAir ight from Bhubaneshwar
for Mumbai was diverted to Nagpur over a bomb threat call which
turned oout be hoax Todays
bomb threat call was received at
the airport terminal just before
the scheduled departure of the
Kathmandu-bound Jet Airways
ight 9W 260 at 1325 hours, ofcials said. A call was made to the
DCP (IGIA) office, saying a gift is
kept under the seat no 18 of the
aircraft(in Jet Airways ight for
Kathmandu), a police officer said.
The call turned out to be a
hoax, DCP (IGIA) D. K. Gupta
said, adding that it was a computer
generated call and the police is trying to trace the caller. Following
this, the security agencies decided
to ground the ight. - PTI


Padma Vibhushan for Rajinikanth,

Priyanka, Kher Padma winners
NEW DELHI: Superstar Rajinikanth and classical singer Girija
Devi were on Monday selected
for Padma Vibhushan, Indias second highest civilian award, while
Anupam Kher, Udit Narayan, Priyanka Chopra and Ajay Devgn are
among other Padma honourees
from Bollywood.
Rajinikanth, one of the most celebrated
actors of his generations is already
a recipient of Padma Bhushan.
Responding to the announcement, his daughter Soundarya tweeted, Proud daughter!!!!!
Appa is now Padma vibhushan
shri Rajinikanth.
Since making his debut with K.
Balachanders Aboorva Ragangal
in 1975, the actor saw a steady
rise to stardom, which continues
even today.
The Tamil superstar has also
acted in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada,
Malayalam and Bengali lms. His
famous movies are Thalapathi,
Nallavanuku Nallavan, Sivaji and
Enthiran among many others.


Devi, 86, already a Padma Shri

and Padma Bhushan recipient, is
known as thumri queen for popularising the genre. She is also an
exponent of khyal and tappa.
Kher, known for his outstanding
character roles in a career spanning over three decades, will receive Padma Bhushan with Narayan, who ruled Bollywood playback
singing in the 80s and 90s.
The Saaransh actor said he
was happy, humbled and hon-

oured to be recognised. Actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka

Chopra, 33, have been named for
Padma Shri awards, besides a
posthumous Padma Shri for actor Saeed Jaffrey.
Devgn, a two-time National
award winner, is known for his
intense performances in lms
like Zakhm, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Omkara, Gangajal,
Apaharan and Drishyam. I feel
deeply humbled yet elated to receive such honour from my own
country. This announcement today makes it special for me when
Im lming abroad for my new
lm Shivaay. Id like to acknowledge that Padma Samman puts an
extra responsibility on me and I
promise to serve my country for
as long as I can, Devgn, 46, said in
a statement.
The Padma awards, which are
announced on the eve of the Republic Day, are conferred by the
President at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan in March/April
every year. - PTI



Love us on




Now, police
after issue of


Mumbais Chhatrapati Shivaji terminal is illuminated for 67th Republic Day celebrations in Mumbai on Monday. Elaborate security arrangements were in place
across the country for the Republic Day celebrations on Tuesday with police in the national capital and neighbouring states keeping an eye out on drones,
which have been perceived as a major threat. The national capital is already on high alert ahead of the official celebrations here where French President
Francois Hollande is the Chief Guest after inputs were received about the presence of key members of several terror outts in Delhi. In the national capital, as
many as 71 high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Rajpath will be shut down either partially or completely on Tuesday in view of the Republic Day parade. - PTI

NEW DELHI: Aiming for faster

delivery of passports, the government on Tuesday said that police
verication will take place after
the travel document is issued, provided certain identity documents
are submitted at the time of ling
It is part of governments efforts to improve and liberalise
police verication procedure for
passport issuance. ...henceforth
normal passport applications of
all rst time applicants furnishing
Aadhaar, Electoral Photo Identity
Card (EPIC), Permanent Account
Number (PAN) and an affidavit
will be processed on post-police
verication basis, enabling faster
issue of passport, without payment of any additional fees, a
statement issued by the MEA said.
It said the passport will be issued subject to successful online
validation of Aadhaar number.
EPIC and PAN card may also be
validated, if required, from the respective databases. In August last
year, government had already said
that no police verication was required for reissue of passports.
The External Affairs Ministry
has also launched an mPassport
Police Application for speedy
submission of police verication
report. - PTI

India, France sign deal on

purchase of Rafale planes


Hollande and his

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

host, Narendra Modi,

both said further
talks were needed
to nalise terms of
the government-togovernment deal,
which the Indian
prime minister had
announced when
he visited France
last spring

NEW DELHI: India signed an

inter-governmental agreement
on Monday to buy 36 Frenchbuilt Rafale ghter planes, but
the leaders of both countries said
there was still work to do to nalise nancial terms after months
of talks.
The deal, worth an estimated
$9 billion, was to have been the
centrepiece of a visit to India
by French President Francois
Hollande, invited as guest of
honour for Tuesdays Republic
Day parade.

PACT SIGNING CEREMONY: French President Francois Hollande speaks as Prime Minister Narendra
Modi looks on during India-France agreement signing ceremony at Hyderabad House in New Delhi
on Monday. - PTI

But Hollande and his host, Narendra Modi, both said further talks
were needed to nalise terms of
the government-to-government
deal, which the Indian prime minister had announced when he visited France last spring.
Decisive step
Hollande described the deal on
Rafale as a decisive step, adding:
There remain nancial issues
which will be sorted out in a couple of days.
Both leaders played up their
interest in cooperation in the

ght against international militant groups, with Hollande saying

France and its allies would strike
again and again against IS.
IS is provoking us in the worst
possible way, Hollande said, citing IS, which controls parts of
Syria and Iraq, and was behind
several attacks on Paris in November that killed 130 people.
Hollande also noted that French
air force Rafales had proven their
effectiveness in the ongoing campaign of air strikes against IS.
Hollande and Modi stepped
into the deal last year, ordering

government-to-government talks
after commercial negotiations
with planemaker Dassault Aviation had collapsed.
The leaders agreed to scale
back the original plan for 126 Rafale planes to just 36 in yaway
condition, to meet the Indian Air
Forces urgent needs.
The ghter jet deal is part of
a $150 billion military overhaul
that India has launched, drawing
global arms makers into one of the
worlds biggest markets.
France is a special friend.
Eighteen years ago, France was

the rst country we signed a strategic partnership with. We are

now here to take it higher, Modi
said at a joint press conference
following his talks with Hollande.
In other business, Frances Alstom signed an agreement with
Indian Railways to produce 800
Hollande said an agreement for
Frances Areva to build six nuclear
reactors in India should be concluded within a year.
From nuclear cooperation to
railway locomotives, we are sowing the seeds of an ever-tightening
web of cooperation between our
two countries, Modi said.
French companies will invest $10
billion in India over the next ve
years, chiey in the industrial
sector, Finance Minister Michel
Sapin said earlier on Monday in
New Delhi.
As part of the Rafale deal, there
would be signicant offsets,
or related French investments
that Modi hopes will support his
Make in India initiative to boost
the manufacturing sector.
The majority of these investments are meant for the industrial sector, which makes France
the major player in Prime Minister Modis Make in India programme, Sapin said. - Reuters


8 die due to
intense cold
in UP, Bengal
NEW DELHI: An intense cold
wave swept North India on Monday, claiming four lives while
dense fog engulfed the region
where Jammu experience its
coldest night in 70 years.
West Bengal has also reported
four deaths due to chill weather
conditions prevailing for the last
three days.
Four homeless persons succumbed to chilling cold in Purulia
district of West Bengal in the last
three days, SP Rakesh Kumar said.
In Uttar Pradesh, two people
died due to intense cold in Mahoba
district and as many were killed
in two separate fog- related incidents in Badaun and Saharanpur,
respectively, since Sunday.
Cold wave tightened its grip on
different parts of the state with
mercury slipping to 2.4 degrees
Celsius in Nazibabad.
Khemchand (55) of Kulphard
and Ajay (28) of Chandua village
in Mahoba died of severe cold, R.
P. Mishra, a doctor at the district
hospital said.
A 45-year-old man, Yusuf, was
on Monday killed and ve others were injured when two trucks
collided due to fog in Musajhag
area in Badaun, police said, adding the injured were admitted
to a hospital where their condition was stated to be stable. Sun
shone down on the national capital
where maximum was 18.7 degrees
Celsius after mercury in the morning dropped to 6.7 degrees Celsius
while 30 trains were cancelled and
75 delayed due to fog. However,
ight operations remained normal
at the Delhi Airport. - PTI


Pranab questions urgency of Central rule in Arunachal Pradesh

NEW DELHI: President Pranab
Mukherjee on Monday asked
questions about the need to bring
Arunachal Pradesh under Central rule, a decision that was challenged by the Congress in the Supreme Court which will hear the
case on Wednesday.
Suspense mounted a day after
the Cabinet decided to impose the
Presidents rule with Mukherjee
calling Home Minister Rajnath
Singh when he is believed to have
raised some queries on the urgency over the action, especially
when the apex court was seized of
the matter.
The President is also said to be
considering seeking legal opinion
before taking a nal call.
In the evening a delegation
of Congress leaders including
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun
Kharge and Kapil Sibal submitted
a memorandum in which the party
said that this is for the rst time

that a decision to impose Presidents rule has been taken in the

midst of a court hearing.
The party also enclosed a summary of events detailing the disquieting events leading to the Governors illegal actions.
The Constitution is being trampled upon. Just two days before the
Republic day, the Union Cabinet
is taking such a decision. We will
ght an all-out war. We will ght
in Parliament, in court and along
with people. Will tell them how
democracy is being endangered,
Leader of the Opposition in the
Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad
told reporters.
Sibal, a noted lawyer, said it was
shocking that the Arunachal
Governor had recommended Presidents rule in the state in spite of
an assurance by his lawyer in the
Supreme Court that no precipitate action would be taken.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court

decided to hear on January 27

the Congress plea challenging the
Cabinet decision. The petition
seeking urgent hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice T. S.
Thakur, at his residence, who directed the matter to be listed for
hearing on Wednesday.
The matter was placed before
the CJI. He has listed for hearing
on January 27, Virendra Kumar,
Deputy Registrar said.
He said listing branch of Registry will allocate the matter before
an appropriate bench.
Already, a ve-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice J. S.
Khehar is examining the scope of
discretionary powers of the Governor under constitution, vis-a-vis
the authority to convene assembly
session with or without the aid and
advise of the Chief Minister and
his council of ministers. The fresh
plea, led by Rajesh Tacho, Chief
Whip of Congress Legislature

party, alleged that illegal and unlawful attempts have been made
by the Centre and Governor Jyoti
Prasad Rajkhowa to topple the Nabam Tuki government.
The Governors recommendation in the present case is to promote political interests of party in
power at the Centre, the Congress
petition nally settled by noted jurist Fali S. Nariman said.
The Congress has sought a direction for the Centre and the
Governor to furnish records pertaining to his recommendation for
Presidents Rule in the state.
There is absolutely no material justifying the action under
Article 356 of the Constitution
of India except the personal ipse
dixit (unsupported assertion) of
the Respondent No.2 (Rajkhowa)
who has abused the Office of the
Governor by acting as an agent
and the mouth piece of the Central
Government, it said. - PTI

MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED: Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha

Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil
Sibal and V. Narayanasamy addressing the media after meeting
President Pranab Mukherjee on Arunachal Pradesh issue, in New
Delhi on Monday. - PTI

A 10


Students leave their
campus at Bacha Khan
University in Charsadda,
Pakistan on Monday,
where Taliban militants
killed 21 people last
Wednesday. At least 200
students gathered on the
grounds of the university on Monday after the
gates opened, shouting
slogans against both
the government and the
Taliban. You must protect
us! they shouted, while
also vowing to continue
their education despite
the threats. There were
to be no classes at the
university on Monday, as
administrators, students
and teachers met to review security needs in the
wake of the attack. Some
people arent going to the
university today as they
have serious concerns
about the incident and
their personal security
and that of the students,
a teacher at the university said, on condition of
anonymity. Reuters


PIA unions to
shut offices

To retire at term end: Raheel

The army chiefs

KARACHI: The unions of Pakistan International Airlines

(PIA) announced on Monday
to close all offices across the
country from Tuesday to protest against the governments
decision to privatise the national carrier.
They also threatened to halt
ight operations from February
2 if the government will not take
back its decision.
Hundreds of employees afliated with half a dozen unions
gathered at the PIA head office
in Karachi on Monday as their
leaders intensied criticism of
the privatisation plan, which
the government insists is only a
move to involve strategic investors against a minority stake to
address the nancial woes of
the airline. The unions made it
clear that they wont roll back
strike plan unless uncertainty is
removed. Express Tribune

three-year tenure will

end in November has
thrown his support
behind elected Prime
Minister Nawaz
Sharif during antigovernment protests

ISLAMABAD: Pakistans inuential army chief on Monday said

he would step down at the end of
his three-year term in November, the militarys public relations
wing said, breaking a precedent of
military leaders seeking to extend
their terms.
General Raheel Sharif is consid-

UNPRECEDENTED: Pakistans newly appointed army chief General

Raheel Sharif attends the change of command ceremony in with
outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (not in picture) at army
headquarters in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. Reuters le photo

ered by many to be Pakistans most

powerful man.
Since he took office in 2013,
the army has launched aerial and
ground assaults against extrem-

ist insurgent strongholds near the

Afghan border in the northwest,
earning the military broad support
from a Pakistani population tired
of militant violence.

Critics say the crackdown has

been selective, going after some
militant groups, but leaving
others intact.
The general has thrown his
support behind elected Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif during
anti-government protests, while at
the same time solidifying the militarys hold over national security
and foreign policy.
General Sharif has also presided
over a security crackdown in Karachi, the countrys largest city,
which has sharply reduced murder
rates but drawn protests from opposition politicians who say their
activists have been targeted.
Under his watch, the military
has been given authority to try civilians suspected of terrorism in
secret military courts.
General Sharif is said to have
been personally involved in efforts to bring the Afghan Taliban
into peace talks with Afghanistan,
though those efforts have stalled.
Speculation that General Sharif
would seek to extend his tenure for
another term was baseless, the ar-

mys public relations wing said in a

series of tweets issued on Monday.
The Pakistan Army is a great
institution. I dont believe in extension, he was quoted as saying.
General Sharifs decision would
represent a win for democratic institutions, but raises questions on
the future of campaigns against
militants. No obvious candidate to
succeed him has yet emerged.
General Sharif pledged that efforts to combat terrorism will
continue with full vigour and resolve after he retired, the army
tweets said.
Pakistans past two military
chiefs had sought extensions of
their terms instead of stepping
down, with General Pervez Musharraf staging a coup to topple
Nawaz Sharif during a previous
term as prime minister. Reuters


Send us your comments at


Khyber Pakhthunkhwa women nurture trees in forest drive

DETERMINED: Robina Gul shows seeds from different plant species

she has collected in the forest around her village in Pakistans Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as her son looks on. TRF/Aamir Saeed

HARIPUR: Robina Gul has

swapped her needle for a trowel.
Until recently, the villager from
northern Pakistan got by making clothes for family weddings
and religious festivals, but now
she is encouraging other women
to set up tree nurseries like hers
that can earn them a handsome
monthly income.
Gul is growing some 25,000
saplings of 13 different species
crammed into the small courtyard
of her two-room house in Najaf
Pur, a village of around 8,000 people in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
It gives me immense pleasure
to look after the saplings as this
has changed my whole life, said
Gul, 35.
It has become a hobby for me
and a source of income too.
She set up the nursery at her
home in March last year under an

agreement with the provincial forest department.

The government provides
around a quarter of the start-up
cost for poor households to set
up a tree nursery, with a subsidy
amounting to 150,000 rupees
($1,429.93) each over a year.
Mud, manure
They rst get black polythene bags
from the forest department to ll
with mud and manure, followed by
seeds and training on how to sow
them and tend to the trees.
I am now getting over 12,000
rupees per month (from the subsidy), just by looking after the saplings in my home, Gul said.
I have also acquired the skills
I need to grow different seedlings,
and this will help me earn enough
even after the project is wound up.
The provincial government is
planning to spend 21 billion ru-

pees from its budget through to

May 2018, when its term ends, on
a project called the Billion Tree
Tsunami. The goal is to plant 1 billion trees in degraded forest areas
and on private land.
The project is part of the Green
Growth Initiative launched in February 2014 in Peshawar by former
international cricket star Imran
Khan, who is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which
governs the province.
The initiative aims to boost local economic development in a
way that uses natural resources
sustainably, with a focus on increasing clean energy uptake and
forest cover.
The government has turned
forest restoration into a business
model by outsourcing nurseries to
the private sector, including widows, poor women and young people. This provides the government

with saplings to plant, as well as

green jobs for the community.
At the same time, illegal logging
has been almost eliminated in the
province following strict disciplinary action against some officials
who were involved.
Other measures include hiring
local people to guard forests and
banning wood transportation.
Rate of deforestation
According to government data, Pakistan has forest cover on 4.4 million hectares (10.87 million acres)
or 5 percent of its land area, while
the current rate of deforestation is
27,000 hectares per year, one of the
highest in the world.
The forestry sector contributed
$1.3 billion to Pakistans economy
in 2011 while employing some
53,000 people directly, according
to Global Forest Watch. Thomson
Reuters Foundation


Stay ahead of
the curve with







Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, top right, waves to fans during her victory homecoming parade in Manila, Philippines, on
Monday. Pia was crowned Miss Universe in December in a drama-lled show after the pageants host, comedian Steve Harvey,
misread his cue card and initially announced Miss Colombia as the winner before apologizing and saying Wurtzbach had won. - AFP

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

over rising
MANILA: Philippine government
and rebel peace negotiators both
expressed concern on Monday
over the spread of radical ideology
in the south of the nation, warning
it could reverse gains in the peace
They urged lawmakers to immediately pass a new autonomy law
in a region of southern Mindanao
to counter radicalism, especially
among young Muslims.
Rebels have been ghting for
self-determination in the south for
more than four decades.
The conict has killed more than
120,000 people, displaced two
million and stunted growth in
one of the poorest regions of the
The ags have been raised, the
danger signals are already there,
said Miriam Coronel Ferrer, government chief negotiator with the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF), the countrys largest
rebel group.
Chief rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said his group was also
worried the delays in the passage
of the law could frustrate the rank
and le of the MILF.
Its a fact that there is rising
radicalism among the youth in
Mindanao, he said. Its there, the
videos are spreading and its very
hard to combat ideas. - Reuters


falls short
of releasing
YANGON: Myanmar freed 101
political prisoners last week,
bringing the number of political
detainees released by President
Thein Sein to more than 1,200
since his semi-civilian government took power in 2011, a
watchdog group said on Monday.
Still, rights groups say, the
outgoing government has fallen
short of releasing all political
The government has released
all 101 political prisoners who
were supposed to be released
starting last week. Most of them
protested against the government, including the Letpadaung
copper mine, land grabs and
other cases, said Bo Kyi, joint
secretary of political prisoner
watchdog Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Thein Seins administration
had released 1,235 political prisoners since 2011, Bo Kyi said.
But 409 political prisoners
were still on trial and 84 remained behind bars.
Myanmars incarceration of
more than 2,000 journalists, activists, politicians and even comedians during decades of military rule was a key factor behind
Western sanctions. Fridays
release came just before a new
parliament dominated by Aung
San Suu Kyis National League
for Democracy sits for the rst
time on February 1. - Reuters

Khaleda accused of sedition,

ordered to appear in court
The case comes
amid rising concerns

This is nothing but a

mockery and its aim is
to deter Khaleda from
politics. The intent of
the government is to
continue its repression
of the opposition
by police

over the growth

of militancy in
Bangladesh, which
saw a string of deadly
attacks on minorities,
secular writers and
foreigners last year

DHAKA: Former Bangladesh

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda
Zia, head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was
ordered on Monday to appear in
court to answer the charge of sedition, a move her supporters said
was driven by politics.
The case comes amid rising
concerns over the growth of militancy in the country, which saw a
string of deadly attacks on secular
writers, minorities and foreigners
last year.
It was led by Momtaz Uddin
Ahmad Mehdi, a lawyer with the
Bangladesh Supreme Court and
a supporter of the ruling Awami
League. He said that remarks
Khaleda made last month about

IN TROUBLED WATERS: Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, head of the opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was ordered on Monday to appear in court to answer the charge of sedition, a move her supporters said was driven by politics. - AFP

the 1971 war of independence were

seditious. She had said there were
controversies over the numbers
who were killed. He said the comment hurt him as a patriot and
that as a citizen, he had a right to
le the case.
Politics in Bangladesh has for
decades been marred by violent
protests, nationwide strikes and
bickering between supporters of
Khaleda and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who have taken
it in turns to lead the country.

An affiliate BNP group called for

a countrywide protest for Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear what
chance the prosecution had of success in the case.
Khaleda was ordered to appear
in court on March 3. Mirza Fakhrul
Islam Alamgir, acting secretary
general of the BNP, dismissed the
case as politically motivated. This
is nothing but a mockery and its
aim is to deter Khaleda from politics, he told reporters.
The intent of the government

is to continue its repression of

the opposition by police, making confrontational politics. He
said 17,000 opposition activists
had been arrested since 2014
and 3,000 were still in jail. East
Pakistan broke away to become
independent Bangladesh in 1971
after a war.
About three million people were
killed, according to official accounts. Hasina opened an inquiry
into crimes committed during
the war in 2010, paving the way

Mirza Alamgir
Acting secretary general of the BNP

for prosecutions by a war crimes

tribunal that extremists have denounced as part of a campaign
aimed at weakening the Jamaat-eIslami, a key ally of the BNP.
Four opposition politicians, including three leaders of Jamaate-Islami, have been convicted and
executed since late 2013. The executions have come amidst a rise
in militant violence, with militant
groups claiming the murder of two
foreigners and four secular writers
and a publisher last year. - Reuters


Search for missing Malaysia jet hits another snag with sonar detector lost
SYDNEY: Australian authorities
searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet said on
Monday they had lost a deep-water
sonar detector being used to scour
a patch of the ocean oor where
the plane is believed to have gone
down almost two years ago.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
disappeared with 239 people on
board during a ight from Kuala
Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014,
sparking one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
On Saturday, a piece of suspected plane wreckage was found off
the east coast of southern Thailand but aviation experts and Thai
officials said it was unlikely to belong to MH370.
A piece of the plane washed up
on the French island of Reunion in
the Indian Ocean in July 2015 but
no further trace has been found.

The search, using a sonar detector known as a towsh, is focused

on a 120,000-sq-km (46,330-sqmile) band of sea oor in the remote southern Indian Ocean.
The towsh collided with a
mud volcano which rises 2,200
metres from the seaoor resulting
in the vehicles tow cable breaking, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the agency
overseeing the search efforts, said
in a statement. The incident occurred on Sunday, it said.
The towsh and 4,500 metres
of cable became separated from
the vessel and are now resting on
the sea oor, it said.
The towsh coasts around 100
metres (330 feet) above the sea
oor, sending out sound waves
diagonally across a broad strip of
terrain to produce a attened image of the seabed.

Earlier this month, JACC reiterated it would complete scouring

the seaoor by the end of June,
ruling out a further expansion
without new conrmation on the
aircrafts location.
On Monday, it did not say
whether the lost towsh would delay that timeframe.
A spare towsh on board search
vessel the Fugro Discovery was being prepared, JACC said.
It was thought it would be possible to recover the lost towsh later.
The Australian-led underwater
search is one of the most expensive
ever conducted. - Reuters


DEBRIS: A Malaysian official, centre, takes pictures of a piece of suspected aircraft debris after it was

Send us your comments at

found by shermen on Saturday, at a beach in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat on

Monday. Thailands air force said it would bring a piece of suspected aircraft debris a metal panel
measuring two metres (6.6 feet) by three metres found on the southeast coast to Bangkok, amid
media speculation it may belong to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. - AFP












1 Water shortage feared after

1 Oman Air comments on

pipeline burst in Muscat

baggage handlers caught on

camera hurling passengers

2 Sultan Qaboos University

makes notable progress in

global rankings

Founder: Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali

Chairman / Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Anees bin Essa Al Zedjali
Chief Executive Officer: Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali
Telephone: 24726666
Fax: 24813153
Telephone: 24726666
Fax: 24812624
Telephone: 24726666
Fax: 24818270

3 New mobile app launched

for parents to monitor school

children in Oman

2 Vendors in Oman warned

against outing laws

3 Royal Oman Police to auction

4 #OmanPride: Oman among

unclaimed vehicles in
Dhofar region

worlds top 17 fastest growing

tourism destinations

4 Two-year visa ban on expats

Printed and published by: Muscat Media Group

Post Box: 770
Postal Code: 112

5 Renewed calls for school bus

in Oman to impact market, say


safety in Oman


5 Front-line British warship

docks in Oman


Albert R. Hunt
Value Added Tax
to be introduced
in Oman in 2017
China is on a shopping spree. On
January 12, Chinese property
developer Dalian Wanda
bought control of Legendary
Entertainment for $3.5 billion. Just
three days later, Haier acquired
General Electrics white goods
business for $5.4 billion.

Eid Travel: Salalah, Oman



Reversing 30 years of demographic

trends wont be easy for Chinas
cities or its countryside. But the
transition itself is a reminder that
decades of reform is nally starting
to pay off for some of Chinas most
economically backward regions.
Thats worth celebrating


Photo: Joanna Enriquez

Why do not rich of the world take care problems
This refers to the story Britain, Bill Gates pledge 3 billion to ght
malaria (January 25). It is very wise of the British leadership and
the worlds richest person to look into this global health problem.
However, I fail to understand why such
issues are not taken care by the rich world
without needing public pressure and being devoid of hidden agenda. Wouldnt be
better if they do so automatically, however,
if that was so the world would be at peace
and not need organisations like the United
Nations. However, looking at the history of
the world this is simply impossible.
Scan this QR code
Sandra Carter, Ruwi
to send letters to the
Readers Forum,
containing not more
than 200 words with
full name, address
and telephone
number, may be sent
by e-mail (akhtar@

Eagerly waiting to see the Proteas

choke against England
This refers to the story Rabada at the double as South Africa scent victory (January
25). It is nice to note that the Proteas are
condent and upbeat against the English
side. Being the last innings it is hard to
imagine that somehow the African side will
lose. However, cricket results do not come
about till the last ball is balled. It is quite possible that one of the
England batsmen will emulate the master defensive player Michael
Artherton and stall the South African teams victory push. I am
eagerly waiting for the chokers to choke again.
Rabail Niazi, Ruwi


Insure with
New India and
be secure

Tel: 24838800 | Fax: 24838899 | Email: | Website:

People always call it luck when youve acted more sensibly
than they have


Republicans see gain in

anti-immigration stance


Changing and expanding the way

baseball is consumed will go a
long way to capturing millennial
viewers and widen the fan base
for the future. Its just a matter
of time before cable and satellite
fall completely by the wayside.
Tuesdays settlement was
great for most fans

hree years ago, high-level Republicans

declared that after losing the popular
vote in ve of the past six elections, the
party needed to appeal more to Hispanics to
win the presidency. Immigration was a threshold issue. Hispanics are the fastest-growing
slice of the electorate. The 2012 Republican
nominee, Mitt Romney, took an anti- immigration stance and only got 27 per cent of that vote.
It hadnt always been so. George W. Bush won
almost 40 perc ent of the Hispanic vote in 2004,
and 20 years earlier, by some estimates, Ronald
Reagan did even better.
Today, however, this notion has been turned
upside down. Donald Trump has soared to the
top of the Republican presidential eld with
an immigration-bashing pitch. The billionaire
businessman has set the agenda for other aspirants: Ted Cruz has hardened his anti-reform
position, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie have
reversed course to adopt tougher-on- immigration stances and John Kasich has fudged.
More Republican politicians, along with
some conservative commentators and strategists, now say Trumps hard line is good politics
because it taps into deep cultural, economic
and security fears.
There is plenty of demagoguery and racism
to this appeal. Yet it is also being made by more
thoughtful conservatives such as Reihan Salam,
a top editor at the anti-Trump National Review.
My Bloomberg View colleague, Ramesh Ponnuru, wrote recently that immigration is becoming a dening test for Republicans with
national aspirations. Some of these advocates
want to limit immigration to high- skilled workers, who are in demand, and keep out the less
skilled, who they believe become a drag on society. (Most Democrats and Hispanics say that
approach is a nonstarter.)
These Republicans claim that public opinion
is moving their way, driven by economic frustration and new threats of terrorism. They note
that Hispanics account for more than 5 per cent
of eligible voters in only three of the 10 national
swing states: Colorado, Nevada and Florida.
Whatever losses the party sustains among
Hispanics -- and Asian-Americans also turned
off by anti-immigration rhetoric -- will be more

than offset, they believe, by energising of alienated white voters.

Yet the white vote as a percentage of the total
has been in steady decline, from 86 per cent in
1984 to 72 per cent in 2012. Romney won 59 per
cent of the white vote and still lost the election
by four points. That means the Republican challenge will be to increase the overall percentage of the white vote, countering demographic
trends, as well as their share of it.
This is a risky strategy, says Ruy Teixeira,
who studies demographic voting patterns at
the liberal Center for American Progress. He
noted that most of the anticipated increases in
eligible nonwhite voters wouldnt be produced
by immigration but by the greater proportion of
younger voters in these groups.
Developments in several swing states underscore his point. In Colorado, Hispanics will
be about 16 per cent of eligible voters this year,
twice as large a segment as two decades ago; by
2030, that will rise to 23 per cent.
In Virginia, where in 1980 there werent
enough Hispanic or Asian-American voters to
even measure, the states electorate this year
will be about 5 per cent Hispanic and almost 7
per cent Asian. Fast-forward to 2030 and those
two groups will make up about 18 per cent of the
Virginia electorate, while black voters will account for about 20 per cent.
Or consider the experience of California.
From 1952 to 1988, Republicans carried the
state in nine of 10 presidential elections, held
the governorship in the majority of those years
and were competitive in congressional contests. In 1994, Republican governor Peter Wilson won re-election by embracing crackdowns
on benets for immigrants. Republicans have
paid a price ever since: The partys presidential candidate has been defeated in the state in
every election and Republicans currently hold
only 14 of Californias 53 seats in the House of
One former Republican presidential candidate fears this scenario could play out on the
national level. Immigration is killing our party, said Senator Lindsey Graham, who dropped
out of the race for the partys nomination last
month. Donald Trump today has an 81 per cent
disapproval rating with Hispanics. The Democrats will destroy this guy. Bloomberg View

Disabled services panel meets
MUSCAT: The National Committee for the Disabled Services held a
meeting yesterday under the chairmanship of Sheikh Amer bin Shuwain Al Hosni, minister of social affairs, labour and vocational training, who is also the chairman of the committee. The meeting reviewed
the agenda which included report of the programmes and services
offered to the disabled in the various regions of the Sultanate and the
comprehensive statistic report on the disabled for 1995. It also discussed the draft law of the disabled services in the Sultanate and a
proposal to translate the deaf language during televised news bulletin
and other programmes for the disabled.


From November to December, 2015





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1788: A eet of ships carrying convicts from England lands

at Sydney Cove in Australia. The day is since known as
Australias national day
1934: Germany signs a 10-year non-aggression pact with
Poland, breaking the French alliance system
1972: California is declared a disaster area after two days of
ooding and mud slides.


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National Centre for Statistics & Information



Greece threatened to be excluded
from Schengen over migration
Greece was the main
gateway to Europe
for more than a
million refugees
and migrants who
reached the European
Union last year

AMSTERDAM: European Union interior ministers on Monday

urged Greece to do more to control the inux of migrants, some
threatening to exclude it from the
continents prized passport-free
travel zone as the crisis increasingly divides the blocs members.
Greece was the main gateway
to Europe for more than a million refugees and migrants who
reached the EU last year. But it has
been criticised for a failure to control the ow of arrivals, which have
shown little sign of falling over the
winter months.
The EU has taken various steps
to give cash-strapped Athens nancial assistance to deal with the
crisis, but many member states
believe Athens is not using that
enough. Of ve registration hot
spot centres that were due to be
set up for migrants arriving in
Greece, only one is running so far.
Overwhelmed by the inux,
Greek law enforcement officials
have often let migrants through
deeper into Europe rather than
keep them on Greek soil for proper
registration - the rst necessary
step agreed by the EU before people can move further.
Athens says the numbers are
impossible to manage and blames
the other 27 EU states for not offering real help.
The crisis has put the passportfree Schengen zone - hailed by
top EU officials as the greatest
achievement of European integration - on the verge of collapse.
If we cannot protect the external EU border, the Greek-Turkish
border, then the Schengen external border will move towards
central Europe, said Austrias Interior Minister Interior Minister
Johanna Mikl-Leitner.
Greece must increase its resources as soon as possible and accept help, she said on arriving at
informal interior minister talks in
The Schengen zone comprises
26 states, most of which are also
EU members. Germany, France,
Austria and Sweden are among
several countries that have introduced temporary border checks
as they struggle to control the ow
of people.
Speaking about timetables, its
already too late. We have seven
countries with border controls,
Swedens interior minister Anders
Ygeman told Reuters.
He said migrant registration
centres need to start functioning
in Greece and Italy as planned.
In the end, if a country doesnt
live up to its obligations, we will
have to restrict its connections
to the Schengen area. If you dont
have control of your borders, it will
have consequences for the free
Excluding Greece would require
applying Article 26 of the Schengen code. Germany, the main destination for refugees and migrants
eeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, rst oated
the idea last year.
External borders
The Greek minister did not speak
on arrival but the EU Migration
Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, himself Greek, sought to
talk down the risk of excluding the
country from Schengen. Nothing like this has been proposed
or discussed. What we have to do
is to better manage our external
borders. Its obvious that frontline
member states must work more
and here we help them to
better do their job, he said.
The Luxembourg interior minister was also against leaving
Greece outside Schengen, while
Germanys Thomas de Maiziere
said that he wanted to preserve
Schengen but that time was running out.
Berlin hopes a deal agreed with
Turkey last November would
mean fewer migrants arrive in

UP IN ARMS: Amnesty International activists hold a protest against the ongoing migrant crisis with a boat lled with mannequins wearing life vests outside the Maritime
Museum, on Monday in Amsterdam, Netherlands, during an informal meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers at the Maritime Museum. AFP

European refugee race to the bottom exposes 360,000 child migrants to risk
to the bottom on asylum
policy among European Union
countries is exposing more
than 360,000 child migrants to
greater risk of harm as the bloc
struggles to cope with a surge of
refugees, rights watchdogs said
on Monday.
European childrens agencies
issued the warning in a report
released in Amsterdam.
One of the main concerns is
that EU countries, from Sweden
to Britain, have implemented
measures limiting family
reunication rights that risked
separating children from their
parents after they had survived
perilous journeys.
It seems as if European
countries are in a contest to
win the title of least willing to
accept asylum seekers, said
the report from the European
Network of Ombudspersons for
Children, which represents 41
independent childrens rights
institutions in 34 European
Last year migrant ows to Europe reached their highest level
since World War II, with 1.2
million applying for asylum on
the continent. The proportion of
children rose from 26 percent in
2014 to 29 percent last year, the
report said.
Many were minors without
their parents. In Sweden alone,
35,000 unaccompanied children
requested asylum in 2015.
European leaders meeting in
the Netherlands, which holds
the rotating European Union

Greece, but the deal has so far had

limited impact.
Top EU officials have echoed
Berlins warnings recently that
Schengen will not survive without
a dramatic change in the coming
weeks in the way the bloc handles
the crisis.
However, EU countries, worried
about growing anti-migrant sentiment at home, have failed to agree.
As the ministers arrived by
canal for talks at Amsterdams
maritime museum, they passed a
protest by Amnesty International,
a boat packed with mannequins in
bright life vests designed to resemble migrants arriving in Europe.
Leaders of Europe, its not the
polls you should worry about, a
sign said. Its the history books.
Meanwhile, the European Unions foreign policy chief said on
Monday she was very condent

AT GREATER RISK OF HARM: A child sits on a chair in front of a refugee camp after crossing the Macedonian border into Serbia, in the
town of Presevo on Monday. European childrens agencies issued the warning in a report released in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where
the EUs interior ministers were meeting to discuss how to deal with the inux of people eeing war in Africa and Middle East. AFP

presidency, are under pressure

to balance the need to offer
humanitarian shelter with
widespread public opposition
to admitting large numbers of

the bloc would deliver a promised

3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in assistance to Turkey to help stem
migrant ows, despite the funding
being blocked by Italy.
EU leaders agreed to the aid
as part of a package of measures
aimed at reducing the numbers of
refugees heading for Europe. But
Italy has objected to the grant, saying there needs to be more certainty over how it is spent.
I am very much condent that the
amount that was decided will be
there in very reasonable timing,
Federica Mogherini told a news
conference in Ankara after meetings with Turkish officials.
EU officials were continuing to
assess the needs and projects that
would receive funding, she said.
We have to better support

The ministers will study an

idea for a bloc-wide border and
coast guard and discuss the
looming expiry of temporary
border controls reintroduced
by several countries within Eu-

Turkey on the incredible work its

doing to host and protect an enormous number of refugees. On the
Turkish side... the management of
the ow of refugees and also regular migrants... has to be done in a
better way.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, also part
of a heavyweight delegation from
Brussels, said the bloc was closely
watching whether Turkish efforts
to stem the ow - which have so far
included issuing work permits to
Syrians and visa requirements for
those arriving by air - were having
any effect.
The composition of refugees
crossing Turkey had changed, he
said, with Syrians now making up
less than 40 per cent. Other migrant nationalities using Turkey
as a transit point into Europe include Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and

ropes passport-free Schengen

travel zone.
The report also urged countries to improve transit and
reception conditions, giving
children priority in the distribu-

Pakistanis. The head of Frances

northern region on Monday called
on Paris to send troops to Calais to
restore order there after migrants
stormed the port and boarded a
British ferry.
Thousands of migrants eeing
war and poverty in Africa and the
Middle East have gathered at the
northern coastal town in the past
year, using it as a stopover on their
way to Britain - a ferry trip across
the Channel. Around 200 refugees
burst into the port on Saturday after a demonstration of support for
migrants living in a slum nearby
and some of boarded the front deck
of a British ferry.
Only the army is capable of
restoring security to Calais, Xavier Bertrand, regional head of
Nord Pas-de-Calais, told report-

tion of asylum seekers among

the EUs 28 member states,
and setting minimum standards
of warmth and comfort
at reception and transit
centres. Reuters

ers. We dont want a tragedy in

Calais, but that is exactly what is
going to happen if there is not a
stronger reaction.
Many live in squalid conditions
particularly in a slum area near
Calais called the jungle where
around 4,000 people are camped.
Bertrand also urged President
Francois Hollande to visit Calais
to witness the situation there for
himself and he also took a swipe at
Britain, saying it was in large part
responsible for the problems.
The migrants, they want to
travel to England, they know that
you can work without papers in
England. They are underpaid. As
long as the English dont change
the rules, we going to have problems, Bertrand said. Either the
English budge, genuinely and seriously, or we give them back their
border. Reuters

A 14



SOUTH KOREA: A passenger ship, centre, navigates through the ice ow in the Han River in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday. A cold snap hit South Korea on Sunday with the temperature in Seoul falling to minus 18 degree Celsius. Reuters

MEXICO: People look at the Popocatepetl volcano as it spews ash

from Paso de Cortes, Puebla, Mexico on Sunday. AFP

OCCUPIED WEST BANK: A double rainbow spreads across the sky near the Occupied West Bank village of Al Auja in the Jordan Valley
on Sunday, following a storm. AFP

CHILE: Tourists watch high waves of the Pacic Ocean pounding

the coast in Vina del Mar city, Chile on Monday. Reuters

RUSSIA: Pigeons y past pedestrians walking along the Patriarch

Bridge in central Moscow on Monday. AFP

CHINA: Wei Yangkun, 2.5 years old, is carried by his mother as they
leave Beijing Railway Station for their hometown Xinyang of Henan
province, in Beijing, China, on Monday. Reuters

LEBANON: A girl walks past a snow-covered swimming pool in the town of Jezzine, southern Lebanon, on Monday. Reuters




Boko Haram kills 28

in Cameroon attack
DOUALA (CAMEROON): Suicide bombers targeting a town
in northern Cameroon killed 28
people and wounded 65 on Monday, one of the worst attacks yet
in the Central African nation as it
struggles to contain an overow
of violence blamed on Nigerias
Boko Haram.
State-owned radio and local ofcials said four explosions struck
a busy market and entrances to
the town of Bodo, which borders the extremist insurgencys
strongholds in northeastern
The new toll is 28 dead and 65
wounded. Currently the situation
is stable. Our security forces are
in place, said one official, who
asked not to be named.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the
attack, northern Cameroon has
become the scene of increasingly
frequent suicide attacks as Boko
Haram has stepped up cross-border violence that has also spread
into Chad and Niger.




Two sperm whales lie on the sand after being washed ashore at Skegness beach in Skegness,
Britain on Monday. Four dead sperm whales washed up in Skegness on the weekend, local
media reported. Reuters

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

Twelve people were killed in an

attack on January 13 at a mosque
in the town of Kouyape.
Bodo, separated from Nigeria
by only a small border river, was
previously targeted at the end of
December when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up
at the town entrance.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people and driven more
than 2 million people from their
homes during its six-year insurgency in one of the worlds poorest regions.
Regional armies mounted an
offensive against the insurgents
last year that ousted them from
many positions in northern
In the wake of that operation, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin pledged to
set up a 8,700-strong regional
force tasked with wiping out
Boko Haram.
The United States has also sent
troops to supply intelligence and
other assistance. Reuters

US struggles, faces days of

cleanup after epic blizzard


Brexit risk
to Northern
Ireland, says
Irish premier
LONDON: A British exit from the
European Union would create serious difficulties for Northern Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Enda
Kenny warned on Monday.
Ireland has more to lose than
other EU member if its larger
neighbour, a key trading partner,
votes to leave the union at a referendum due to be held by end-2017
and the Irish government has been
a vocal opponent of a British exit,
or Brexit.
Britains only land border with
the European Union is between
Northern Ireland and the Republic
and Irish proponents of Britains
EU membership have warned
that an exit could damage trade
to the province and iname political tensions if it leads to more
border controls.
Kenny, in London to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, told a news conference the
referendum had become a critical
issue for Ireland but he believed
all Britains demands for revised
terms could be met.
From our perspective it would
create serious difficulties for
Northern Ireland and I dont want
to see that happening, Kenny
said. Reuters

Officials reported at
least 31 storm-related
deaths, including
traffic accidents and
heart attacks while
shovelling in the
capital Washington,
Delaware, Kentucky,
Maryland, New
Jersey, New York,
North Carolina,
Ohio, South Carolina,
and Virginia

Officials in Washington warned
residents on Monday that it would
take several more days for the city
to return to normal after a massive weekend blizzard dropped
more than two feet (60 cm) of
snow along the East Coast and left
31 people dead.
Wshingtonl, with federal government offices ordered shut on
Monday, schools in the district
and surrounding suburbs shuttered and the US House of Representatives cancelling all votes
until next week.
Washingtons mayor, Muriel Bowser, urged residents to
stay off the streets while crews
cleared snow from secondary
roadways,and highway shoulders.
We are now 36 hours into the
big digout, she told reporters,
adding that it will take several
days to nish the cleanup.Were
making a lot of progress.
Officials reported at least 31
storm-related deaths, including
traffic accidents and heart attacks while shovelling in Washington, DC, Delaware, Kentucky,


BADLY HIT: US Department of Sanitation workers use bulldozers to clear snow near Times Square in New York on Monday. AFP

Maryland, New Jersey, New York,

North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
Washingtons subway resumed
limited service on Monday, offering free travel in an effort to
encourage the use of mass transit
over driving.
Its beautiful to watch but impossible to get through, said John
Salmons, a 24-year-old designer
who works at an architecture rm,
as he waited for a train in suburban Arlington, Virginia.
Even with federal government
offices officially closed, the Supreme Court was open for business, scheduled to issue rulings
and act on pending appeals from
the snowbound courthouse across
from the US Capitol building.
Marylands state government
was also shut on Monday and officials asked residents to avoid travelling. High snowbanks at street

corners made travel within Washington difficult for pedestrians.

The hardest part was getting
the stroller through the unclean
sidewalks, said Isam Qahwash, a
41-year-old scientist from Princeton, New Jersey, as he carried his
14-month-old son in a stroller
across a downtown street.
It seems like they move really slow cleaning the snow here
in DC, said Qahwash, originally
from Michigan.
New York was quicker to return
to business, with the New York
Stock Exchange and the citys
public schools opened as usual.
The states governor, Andrew
Cuomo, said weekend road closures throughout New York City
and its eastern suburbs had saved
lives by keeping people off the
streets, reduced traffic accidents
and allowed work crews to plow
more efficiently. Reuters

Losses to billions of dollars

LONDON: Massive blizzards that paralysed much
of the US East Coast in the
past few days are likely to
cause multi-billion dollar
economic losses in one of the
worst storms in the region in
over a century, reinsurance
broker Aon Beneld said
on Monday.
Given the physical
damage to homes, businesses and other structures
and automobiles, plus the
high costs incurred due to
business interruption, it is
expected that this will end up

being a multi-billion-dollar
economic cost, Aon Beneld
said in a note.
The storm would likely
be rated as one of the top 15
winter storms in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic since
1900, it added.
It was too soon to calculate
insured losses, Aon Beneld
said, adding a similar storm
system in January 1996
caused an estimated economic loss of $4.6 billion and
insured loss of $920
million in current dollar
terms. Reuters

Bahrain court
sentences 57
to jail terms
DUBAI: A Bahraini court sentenced 57 men to 15-year jail terms
on Monday for rioting in a prison
outside the capital Manama last
March, the public prosecutors
office said.
Bahrains public prosecutor said
in a statement that the convicts
had unleashed acts of chaos, riots and rebellion inside (prison)
Charges in the prison riot included
damaging public property, attacking police, arson and resisting authorities. Reuters


Bouteika dissolves military spy unit, creates new agency

ALGIERS: Algerian President
Abdelaziz Bouteika has dissolved
the long-standing military spy directorate known as the DRS, creating a new agency under the control
of the presidency in another step
to ease the military out of politics,
security sources said.
Bouteika, rarely been seen in
public since he suffered a stroke in
2013, began curbing the militarys
inuence before his re-election in
April 2014.
But the decree to shut the Department of Intelligence and Secu-

rity, or DRS by its French initials,

and replace it with the Direction
of Security Services is a signicant
move to restructure the intelligence apparatus.
Despite presidential elections,
analysts say, Algerias politics has
long been dominated by the ruling
FLN party elites and the military,
who engage in backroom manoeuvring for political inuence in the
North African OPEC state.
Bouteika last year removed
Mohamed Mediene, the DRS for
more than two decades, sidelining

someone who had been a major

gure in past behind-the-scenes
power struggles.
Mediene, one of whose nicknames was the King of Algeria,
had long played the role of political
kingmaker, analysts said, inuencing leadership choices in backroom tussles between civilian and
military factions even while trying
to maintain stability among them.
The decision to dissolve the
DRS has yet to be published in the
official gazette. But security sources familiar with the decision said

General Athmane Tartag, a retired

DRS chief, will led the new intelligence agency from his office at the
Long role
Since Algerias 1962 independence
from France, the military has long
played a role in politics. But during the countrys 1990s war with
hardline ghters, the DRS extended its sway over political parties,
media and economy in the name
of security.
For the past two years, Boutef-

lika had already moved to steadily

ease the DRS out of civilian interests, retiring generals and restructuring parts of the military, transferring DRS roles to army officials
seen as loyal to the presidency.
Secret police
The move will enable Algerias
intelligence to move from a secret
police to a more proper intelligence agency to adapt to ongoing
regional and domestic political
transition, security analyst Arslan Chikhaoui told Reuters.

The Defence Ministry will no

longer supervise the new intelligence agency, as it will be under
the authority of the presidents
office. The era of kingmakers
is officially over now, a senior
member of the ruling FLN party
told Reuters.
Algeria is a pivotal partner in the
Western-led campaign against extremist militancy in North Africa
and the Sahel region. But Libyas
chaos next door, the rise of IS in
the region and instability in Mali
are major concerns. Reuters

A 16




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Zika outbreak spreading

through Americas: WHO
virus may be linked
to birth defects
in Brazil as more
research needed into
possible physical

Suspected cases
Brazil has reported 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly, the
WHO said last Friday, over 30
times more than had been reported in any year since 2010.
The diseases rapid spread, to

Record hot
years caused
by man-made
OSLO: A record-breaking string
of hot years since 2000 is almost
certainly a sign of man-made
global warming, with vanishingly
small chances that it was caused
by random, natural swings, a study
showed on Monday.
Last year was the hottest since
records began in the 19th century
in a trend that almost all scientists
blame on greenhouse gases from
burning of fossil fuels, stoking heat
waves, droughts, downpours and
rising sea levels.
Recent observed runs of record temperatures are extremely
unlikely to have occurred in the
absence of human-caused global
warming, a US-led team of experts wrote in the journal Scientic Reports.


GENEVA: The mosquito-borne

Zika virus, which is suspected of
causing brain damage to babies
in Brazil, is likely to spread to all
countries in the Americas except
for Canada and Chile, the World
Health Organization (WHO) said
on Monday.
Zika has not yet been reported
in the continental United States,
although a woman who fell ill with
Zika in Brazil later gave birth to a
brain-damaged baby in Hawaii.
Brazils Health Ministry in November conrmed the Zika virus
was linked to a foetal deformation
known as microcephaly, in which
infants are born with smallerthan-usual brains.


PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: A specialist fumigates the Nueva Esperanza graveyard in the outskirts of Lima on January 15, 2016. The
virus has quickly spread across South America and the Caribbean in recent weeks. AFP Files

21 countries and territories of

the region since May 2015, is due
to a lack of immunity among the
population and the prevalence of
the Aedes aegypti mosquito that
carries the virus, the WHO said in
a statement.
Evidence about other transmission routes is limited.Zika
has been isolated in human semen, and one case of possible
person-to-person sexual transmission has been described.

However, more evidence is needed to conrm whether physical

contact is a means of Zika transmission, it said.
There is currently no evidence
of Zika being transmitted to babies through breast milk, the
WHO said. It advised pregnant
women planning to travel to areas
where Zika is circulating to consult a healthcare provider before
travelling and on return.
Zika has historically occurred

in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia

and the Pacic Islands. But it is
normally a mild disease and there
is little scientic data on it, so it is
unclear why it might be causing
microcephaly in Brazil, the WHO
has said.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told the WHO executive board that she had asked
Carissa Etienne, head of the
WHO in the Americas, to brief
the board later this week on the

WHOs response to the outbreak.

Although a causal link between
Zika infection in pregnancy and
microcephaly has not, and I must
emphasise, has not been established, the circumstantial evidence is suggestive and extremely
worrisome, Chan said.
An increased occurrence of
neurological symptoms, noted in
some countries coincident with
arrival of the virus, adds to the
concern. Reuters

Temperature data
Written before 2015 temperature
data were released, it estimated
the chance of the record run - with
up to 13 of the 15 warmest years all
from 2000 to 2014 - was between
one in 770 and one in 10,000 if the
series were random with no human inuence.
Lead author Michael Mann, a
professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, told
Reuters that the groups computer
simulations indicated those odds
including 2015 had widened to
between one in 1,250 and one in
13,000. Climate change is real, human-caused and no longer subtle were seeing it play out before our
eyes, he wrote in an e-mail. Natural variations include shifts in the
suns output or volcanic eruptions,
which dim sunlight. Reuters


Britain along with Bill Gates pledge 3b to ght malaria

LONDON: Britain will spend
500 million ($700 million) per
year for the next ve years to try
and end deaths caused by malaria,
the government said on Monday,
announcing a partnership with
Microsoft founder Bill Gates
worth a total of 3 billion.
Finance Minister George Osborne announced the spending,
which will be funded from the
countrys overseas aid budget, at
an event with billionaire Gates,
whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will also contribute around
$200 million per year to the
Across the globe over a billion
people are infected with malaria
and its a cause of both untold misery and lost economic potential,
Osborne said in a statement.

Thats why, working with Bill

Gates, Im determined that Britain
leads the world in the ght against
this disease.
In December, the World Health
Organisations annual malaria
report showed deaths falling to
438,000 in 2015 down dramatically from 839,000 in 2000 and
found a signicant increase in the
number of countries moving towards the elimination of malaria.
The United Nations now wants
to cut new cases and deaths from
malaria, a parasitic mosquitoborne infection, by 90 per cent
before 2030. Osborne said some of
the money would be spent in Britain to advance the science being
used to combat the disease. Reuters


Nearly half the worlds population is at risk of malaria

- about 3.2 billion people. It exists in 97 countries and
In 2015, some 214 million people were infected and
438,000 people died of malaria, the majority in subSaharan Africa

Children under ve years old, pregnant women and

people living with HIV/AIDS are particularly vulnerable

The mosquito-borne disease is preventable and curable.

Between 2000 and 2015, malaria death rates fell by 60

per cent

Four countries have eliminated it since 2007: United

Arab Emirates, Morocco, Turkmenistan and Armenia. In

2014, 13 countries reported zero cases of malaria

Growing resistance to insecticides and treatments

threatens to roll back gains

In Southeast Asia, the disease is developing resistance

to the most effective form of treatment. Scientists are
worried this resistance will spread to Africa where at
least 90 per cent of malaria deaths occur

Mosquitoes are also developing resistance to the

insecticides used to treat bednets

The World Health Organization has targeted malaria

for elimination in at least 35 countries by 2030, and
reducing death rates by 90 per cent in the same time
Sources: World Health Organisation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria




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+ 24.06
+ 0.49%

- 53.18
- 1.93%

Abu Dhabi
- 10.07
- 0.26%

- 36.73
- 0.74%

Saudi Arabia

- 5.78
- 0.10%

+ 397.60
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- 7.55
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Type ............................Delivery...........Price

Forex rates vs OMR1*

US Dollar ................................. 2.58
Euro ............................................ 2.37
Pound ........................................... 1.79
Indian Rs ............................. 174.82
Pak Rs ................................... 267.80
Bangla Taka.......................201.04

Indian Rs ....................................176.10
Pakistan Rs .............................272.25
Sri Lanka Rs ............................ 371.75
Bangla Taka........................... 203.20
Phil Peso ................................... 124.00

Muscat 24ct per gm (OMR) ........14.15

Oman Crude............. (Spot) ........$26.63

Dubai Crude ............. (Spot) .........$26.13
Murban Crude ........ (Spot) ........$29.29
Arabian Light ......... (Spot) ........$24.98
N.Sea Brent............... (Spot) .........$31.32
West Texas Int ....... (Spot) ..........$31.19

* Rates as of Jan. 25
Source: Oman UAE Exchange

* Rates are as of Jan. 25

Source: Bank Muscat

New classication to benet

more small and medium rms

Muscat 22ct per gm (OMR) ....... 13.70

Dubai 24ct per gm (Dh) ............ 132.75
Dubai 22ct per gm (Dh) ............. 125.75
* Rates as of Jan. 25
Source: Malabar Gold & Diamonds


approve sale of
Al Falaj Hotel
Times News Service

New classication
has widened the
number of SMEs as
the turnover cap is
higher in the new
classication, said an
official in SME sector

MUSCAT: More companies will
benet from a new classication introduced for micro, small
and medium enterprises as it has
broadened the scope of the SME
sector, said a senior official.
The new classication has widened the number of SMEs as the
turnover cap is higher in the new
categorisation, Khalifa Al Abri,
chief executive officer of the Public Authority for SME Development (riyada), told Times of Oman.

The turnover cap was OMR1.5

million previously but is OMR3
million now, Al Abri said on the
sidelines of an event held on
Monday to announce a new SME
mentorship programme of Daleel
The new classication will allow
medium-sized companies to be part
of the SME sector and that means
they are going to benet from
the support provided to SMEs in
Oman, the official noted.
According to Al Abri, all the
organisations will be required to
follow the new categorisation and
this will help enhance coordination between various parties dealing with these businesses.
Recently, a decision was issued
by Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy,
minister of commerce and industry and chairman of riyadas board
of directors, amending the classication of SMEs based on the
number of workers and annual
sales, according to Oman News
Agency (ONA).
It states that a micro enterprise
has 1-5 workers and annual sales
of less than OMR100,000; a small
enterprise has 6-25 workers and
annual sales of OMR100,000500,000; and a medium enterprise
has 26-99 workers and annual

sales of OMR500,000-less than

According to ONA, the decision
to revise the classication of SMEs
is based on the Royal Decree No
36/2013 on the establishment of
riyada and riyadas board of directors and on the decision of riyadas
board of directors at its third meeting held on October 6, 2015.
The decision came after taking
into account the views and proposals of all parties concerned, including government agencies and
private sector companies, commercial banks and entrepreneurs
through a seminar organised by riyada in March 2015, as well as the
recommendations of the consultant in charge of the preparation of
riyada strategy.
The decision introduces the
new classication of micro, small
and medium enterprises to pave
the way for further support of
these institutions.
The previous classication was
as follows: Micro enterprise with
1-4 workers and up to OMR25,000
annual sales; small enterprise with
5-9 workers and OMR25,000250,000 annual sales, and medium
enterprise with 10-99 workers
and OMR250,000 - 1,500,000 annual sales.

Daleel Petroleum mentorship

programme to support SMEs

MUSCAT: Daleel Petroleums new mentorship programme will help support

small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the oil and gas
sector, said a senior official.
We are encouraging all
companies to have these
programmes to help SMEs,
and this is an important
initiative, especially talking
about the oil and gas sector
which is the biggest sector
in Oman, Khalifa Al Abri,
chief executive officer of the
Public Authority for SME
Development (riyada), told
Times of Oman.
There are large opportunities for SMEs to be part of
the sector and it is important to build the capacity and
also to enhance their ability

to be part of this sector, and

this programme will help the
SMEs do that, he said on the
sidelines of an event held on
Monday to announce Daleel
Petroleums new programme.
Al Abri also said that riyada
has a mentorship programme
which covers various sectors
to help SMEs in Oman.
In a speech at the event,
Fahmy Al Musharfy, chief
planning officer at Daleel Petroleum said that the company has always been committed to supporting SMEs
to contribute to the countrys
prosperity in line with the
governments efforts.
He said that the new programme will help upgrade the
quality and raise the standards of SMEs and will help
enhance their knowledge and
skills. >B2

MUSCAT: Oman Hotels and

Tourism Company on Monday
said that its shareholders have
unanimously approved a proposal to sell assets and business
of Al Falaj Hotel (unit of Oman
Hotels and Tourism Company)
for OMR14 million to Aitken
Spence Resorts (Middle East).
The decision was taken at an
extraordinary general meeting
of Oman Hotels and Tourism
Company on January 24.
In a separate disclosure statement on the Muscat Securities
Market (MSM), Oman & Emirates Investment Holding Company said that it owns 31.2 per
cent in the capital of Oman Hotels and Tourism Company and
its an associate company.
Aitken Spence Hotels operates 24 hotels and resorts in Sri
Lanka, India, Oman, and the
Maldives under two premier
brands Heritance Hotels and
Resorts and Adaaran Resorts
and Spa, according to its website. Located in key tourist locations, the Aitken Spence chain
boasts of exotic properties like
Heritance Kandalama and the
Desert Nights Camp in Oman,
rated as one of the top ten desert
retreats in the world.



Iran to strike deals for cars,
planes with European firms
velop the country and create jobs.
Rouhani is in Rome Monday
through Wednesday to speak to
a business group. Hell hold talks
with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
and meet Pope Francis on Tuesday
in the Vatican.

Hassan Rouhani will

visit Italy, France
and Vatican on his
European tour where
he is expected to
sign deals with rms
including Airbus

TEHRAN: As his country emerges from international isolation,

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
was scheduled to arrive in Italy on
Monday, the rst stop in a European tour where he is expected to
sign contracts with companies including Airbus.
Rouhani may sign deals valued
at about 17 billion ($18.4 billion)
of contracts with Italy, according
to an Italian official who asked not
to be identied because the information isnt public.
In France, hes also expected to
nalise an accord to buy 114 Airbus
jets to upgrade Irans ageing eet

EUROPEAN TOUR: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, with Italian President Sergio Mattarella

at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Italy, on Monday. He is expected to sign deals valued at
about 17 billion ($18.4 billion) of contracts with Italy. AFP

and may sign a deal with carmakers Peugeot Citroen and Renault,
according to state-run media.
The Islamic Republic is seeking
to reap the benets of its nuclear
agreement with world powers in
July, which paved the way to the
lifting of economic sanctions this
month. The step opens the door for
Iran to attract investments needed

to revive economic growth and

lower unemployment.
The removal of sanctions may
trigger at least $50 billion a year in
foreign investment, the countrys
central bank governor said in an
interview last week.
The trip is Rouhanis rst to the
European Union since his election
in 2013 on pledges to end sanctions and improve Irans ties with
the rest of the world. A red carpet

beneath Irans feet, Shargh, Irans

most popular reformist newspaper, ran on its front page.
Tehran policies
The expansion of ties between
Iran and European Union countries is among Tehrans policies,
Rouhani said before departing to
Rome, according to the Fars news
agency. We should take advantage
of the post-sanctions climate to de-

Oil pipelines
Among the deals hes expected to
sign is a 5 billion contract with
Saipem to develop oil pipelines, La
Repubblica newspaper reported.
He travels to Paris on Wednesday
for a meeting with President Francois Hollande.
The agreement with Airbus
may include the double-decker
A380 superjumbo jet as well as
the A320 family of aircraft, Iran
Air chairman and managing director Farhad Parvaresh said in an interview. The rst of the 114 aircraft
intended for Iran Air are expected
to be delivered before March 21,
Mehr news agency reported, citing
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi.
Iran Khodro, one of the countrys largest carmakers, reached
a preliminary agreement for a
500 million euro joint venture
with Peugeot Citroen, the Tasnim
news agency reported om Sunday,
citing an industry official it didnt
identify. Bloomberg News


Japans trade decit narrows down

TOKYO: Japans annual trade
decit narrowed 80 per cent from
a record as energy import costs
fell and the weaker yen helped
spur a modest increase in exports.
The balance has been negative
for 49 of the 58 months since the
March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Fuel imports soared after
the disaster devastated a nuclear
power plant and prompted Japan
to shut down its atomic reactors
for extended periods.
More recently, the slowdown

in China and weakness in the

global economy have hurt exports, even as decline in the yen
makes Japanese goods more
competitive overseas.
The trade balance, which
swung back to a surplus of 140.2
billion ($1.2 billion) in December,
was in decit for nine months in
2015. Exports declined 8 percent
in value last month and imports
fell 18 per cent.
The annual trade decit was
2.8 trillion. - Bloomberg News


< FROM programme
to start in


According to Daleel Petroleum, the new mentorship programme, which is expected to

start in February, will match
Omani-owned and operated
SMEs with local Omani and expatriate professionals in a mentoring relationship.
Ideal SME mentee companies
will be those presently operating in the oil and gas industry
and those in other industries
which require similar business
management practices. These
mentor relationships will be
closely monitored to ensure
that appropriate objectives are
agreed to at the beginning and
are tracked throughout the 12
months of the relationship.
With regard to the mentors,
qualied local mentors will
make a number of commitments
such as dedicating 3 to 5 hours
per month to mentee meetings
(face-to-face, via email, and via
the telephone) for a period of
12 months.
Applications are open for both
mentees and mentors. Once
qualied mentors and mentees are accepted, they will be
matched into mentor relationships based on the needs of the
mentees and the strengths of
the mentors.
Daleel Petroleum has engaged
Inspired Solutions, an Omanbased SME consultancy, to
manage the SME mentoring
William R. Crew, chief executive officer of Inspired Solutions, said that the initiative
will help enhance the capabilities and stability of the Omani
SMEs in this project.
In addition, Azhar Al Barwani, head of In-Country Value
(ICV) at Daleel Petroleum, said
that in the light of lower oil prices, ICV becomes all the more
important as its helps sustain
the economy.
ICV will be given an emphasis regardless of the oil prices,
she noted.


Send us your comments at




Chinas Baidu enters global race for driverless cars

BEIJING: Wang Jing bought his
rst car, a Dodge Shadow, with
$3,000 he scratched together
working three part-time jobs in
the United States as a postgraduate student in Florida. These days,
the senior vice-president in charge
of Baidus autonomous driving efforts is far better paid. Hes also a
man on a mission: To push China
to the forefront of the coming driverless-car era.
Baidu joins a crowded eld.
Google, which started developing
autonomous cars in 2009, has tested self-driving vehicles for more
than 2 million miles and is considering making its self-driving car
unit a stand-alone business under
the Alphabet corporate umbrella
later this year.
Tesla Motors chief executive ofcer Elon Musk has said his customers will be able to summon an

renowned computer scientist and

expert in robotics and machine
learning as Baidus chief scientist
in May 2014.



W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

electric car to drive autonomously

from Los Angeles to New York
within two years. General Motors
and Ford Motor are also in hot pursuit of this emerging market.
Undeterred, Wang, 51, sees a
level playing eld in the coming
era of intelligent, autonomous
cars and one that China is capable of dominating.
Robotic brain
Chinese carmakers started making cars 100 years after others and
a lot of the core technology arent
in Chinese hands, such as engines
said Wang. With electric cars,
with intelligent cars, the core tech-

JOINING THE BANDWAGON: Baidus Wang Jing thinks Baidu will

have a competitive advantage over Google and other automakers
that test their articial intelligence in the United States because of
local knowledge of road conditions. Bloomberg News

nology shifts from the engine and

gearbox to articial intelligence
and thats an area where China is
very close to the US, giving China
the chance to catch up and seize
leadership. Robin Li, Baidus cofounder and chief executive officer,

Kuwaits growth
expected to be
subdued at 2.5%
Non-oil activity is
expected to support
growth on account of
execution of various
projects awarded in
2014 and 2015, says
Markaz report

Times News Service

MUSCAT: Economic growth in
Kuwait is expected to be subdued
at 2.5 per cent (real GDP growth)
in 2016 in view of lower revenues
from crude oil. However, non-oil
activity is expected to support
growth on account of execution
of various infrastructure projects
after a series of contract awards
in 2014 and 2015, says Kuwait Financial Centre Markaz.
The lower scal break even oil
price for Kuwait at $51.8 a barrel
in 2016 will provide comfort to
the scal balance, though it would
be lower than scal surpluses registered before the fall of oil prices,
says the study.
Kuwait with low debt and higher scal reserves, accumulated
during periods of elevated oil
prices, could resort to raising debt
in the domestic market, interna-

NEGATIVE RETURNS: On the Kuwait stock market, indices regis-

tered negative returns as continued fall in oil prices and subdued

corporate earnings weighed on the stock markets. Bloomberg News

tional market or draw down on its

buffers or a mixture of both as the
rebound of the oil prices remain
uncertain, the research note said.
Series of contract awards and
accelerated implementation of
Kuwait Developmental Plan is
expected to support non hydrocarbon activity, whose growth is
expected to be at 4.5 per cent in
2016. Muted earnings expectation
and lack of near-term triggers for
valuation multiple re-rating could
result in yet another year of tepid
market performance, it said.
Earnings of companies
Earnings of Kuwaiti companies,
mainly the commodities and telecommunications are expected
to deteriorate in 2016 and the
earnings growth in banks is also
expected to slow down.
The report further said that
market liquidity is at its lowest.
Given the lacklustre performance
of the Kuwait stock market dur-


Al Batinah Development
to invest in Omran hotel
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Al Batinah Development & Investment Holdings
board has decided to subscribe
to 5 per cent (equivalent to
OMR656,000) in the capital of
Destination Hotel Management
Company, a subsidiary of Oman
Tourism Development Company

(Omran), the company said in a

disclosure statement.
The company seeks to diversify sources of income by investing
in different sectors, including the
tourism sector in the Sultanate.
Destination Hotels Wadi Irfan
Crowne Plaza Hotel project is
expected to start operation in the
rst quarter of year 2017.

ing the last few years, the report

does not see any major negative
triggers while it also doesnt see
any major positive triggers with
low oil prices acting as a dampener. Hence, the outlook remains
neutral for 2016.
On the Kuwait stock market,
indices registered negative returns as continued fall in oil prices
and subdued corporate earnings
growth weighed on the stock markets. In 2015, Kuwait Weighted
index and the Kuwait price index
dropped by 13 per cent and 14.1
per cent respectively. However,
despite the decline, the report sees
the valuations for Kuwait market
are still at a premium compared to
its regional peers.


Send us your comments at

has invested heavily into a subeld

of articial intelligence known as
deep learning, which aims to improve search results and computing tasks by training computers to
work more like the human brain.
The company hired Andrew Ng, a

Articial intelligence
Wang thinks the company can
leverage its expertise in articial
intelligence, data mapping and
Internet connectivity to excel in
autonomous driving technology.
Getting China into that game is a
priority for Chinese President Xi
Jinping, who sees digital technology as an opportunity for Chinese
manufactures to become more innovative. At a global Internet forum last month, Xi made the point
of visiting Baidus stand, where he
listened to Baidu CEO Li discuss
autonomous car development.
It may take time for Chinese
rms to scale up in this business,
says an analyst with Minzu Secu-

rities in Beijing. There is a long

way ahead for Baidu and other
companies trying to mass produce
and sell autonomous driving cars,
said Cao. Given the wide diversity
of road conditions from one place
to another, it is unlikely for any
company to come up with a sizable industry operation within ve
That said, there could be a lot of
money at state. Baidu estimates
that the Chinese market for car
sales, buses, taxis and related
transportation services is potentially worth more than $1.5 trillion a year in revenue. Getting a
sliver of that could be a huge new
revenue source for Chinas biggest
search engine company.
By 2017, autonomous vehicles
capable of traffic jam autopilot and
autonomous valet parking should
be on dealers lots. - Bloomberg News


India can withstand currency

market turmoil: Global funds
SINGAPORE: Global investors
are keeping faith in Indias rupee
bonds, even as the currency inches
toward the record low reached in
2013, saying the nations nances
have improved over the past twoand-a-half years.
Western Asset Management,
which manages about $450 billion,
says it has very large overweight
exposure to Indias currency and
debt. Amundi Asset Management
said the market will remain stable
despite global volatility. While the
rupee has slipped to within 1.9 per
cent of the unprecedented 68.85
a dollar reached in August 2013,
strategists surveyed predict it will
strengthen to 67 by March-end.
Asias third-largest economy
has been overhauled since the rout
in 2013, when a record current-account decit, soaring ination and
weak growth led Morgan Stanley
to include the rupee in its list of
fragile ve currencies.
Indias central bank governor Raghuram Rajan boosted Indias foreign
reserves by the most among major
developing economies, a slump in oil
prices improved external nances
and ination halved. The World
Bank predicts Indias growth this
year will be the fastest among the
worlds major economies.

and a stable outlook on Indonesia.

The following ve charts show
the rupees forecast spot returns
at the end of June, increase in foreign holdings of Indian bonds and
stocks since 2013, narrowing of
the nations current-account decit to the smallest in seven years,
slowing ination and a surge in
foreign reserves.
The rupee is a completely different story today and has lost
its fragile status, said Viraj Patel, a London-based strategist at
ING Groep, among the most accurate forecasters of the rupee in
Bloombergs rankings.
The Indian economy is in a
much better shape to withstand
nancial market turmoil. The favourable growth dynamic means
that the rupee is not being viewed
as a go-to short.
Fragile ve nations
India is the only country among
the so-called fragile ve with a
positive outlook from Moodys Investors Service.
The ratings company has put
Brazil on review for a downgrade
to junk, while it has a negative outlook for South Africa and Turkey

Current weakness
Investing dollars in rupees will
earn 0.2 per cent by the end of
June, according to forecasts of 32
strategists. Thats the best spot return among 10 Asian currencies.
The rupee should outperform
other currencies in Asia this year
in terms of returns, said Roy Teo,
a senior foreign- exchange strategist at ABN Amro Bank in Singapore. The current weakness is
due to risk aversion and once the
sentiment improves, markets will
look at Indias improving economic fundamentals and the rupee
should recover back to 67 levels.
While foreign funds have pulled
money from local debt in January,
their outstanding holdings more
than doubled since August 2013 to
Rs3.45 trillion ($51.1 billion). Stock
holdings have risen 19 per cent to
$164 billion. - Bloomberg News





Index .................................................High .................Low..................... Value ............... Prev . Value.......... Diff ...............Diff %
MSM30 Index ....................................... 4,968.87 ...............4,941.75 ................... 4,965.81 ................... 4,941.75................. 24.06 ...................0.49
Financial Index ..................................... 5,911.69 .............. 5,872.69 ................... 5,900.72 ...................5,872.69................. 28.03 ...................0.48
Industrial Index ................................... 6,463.58 .............. 6,435.84 ................... 6,435.84 ...................6,463.58................ -27.74 .................. -0.43
Services Index ......................................2,850.20 .............. 2,829.95 ...................2,848.48 ...................2,829.95..................18.53 ................... 0.65
MSM SHARIAH INDEX.......................807.09 ..................804.35 .......................806.19 ......................804.35.................... 1.84 ...................0.23
Trading Summary
Volume ................Turnover ..........Trades .............. Market Cap............. Up............Down ............. Equal .........Sec. Traded
19,468,413 ..................4,844,708 .....................877 ...............15,284,420,015 ................ 21 ......................11 .................... 15 .........................47


IN THE GREEN: As many as 877 trades were executed on Mon-

day, generating turnover of OMR4.84 million with 19.4 million

shares changing hands. - Times le picture

MSM index
ends higher

ISIN ......................................SECURITY NAME ..................................................................VOLUME..... TURNOVER............TRADES ......OPEN PRICE......HIGH ............. LOW ........ CLOSE PR. ...PREV. CLOSE...DIFF (RO).........DIFF % .............LAST PR.....LAST BID .............LAST OFFER ........MARKET CAP.PAR VALUE

REGULAR MARKET .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

OM0000002820 ...........GULF INVESTMENT SERVICES ......................... 1,295,443 .......113,877..................... 32 ........... 0.084 ...........0.089 ...........0.084........... 0.088 .............0.082 ........... 0.006..............7.317.................0.088..............0.087...................0.089.................... 5,178,203 ..........0.100
OM0000001681 ............OMAN AND EMIRATES INV. HOLDING........... 227,820 ............19,006..................... 10 ............0.081 ...........0.084 ...........0.081 ........... 0.083 .............0.080 ........... 0.003............. 3.750 ................0.083..............0.081...................0.083................... 10,115,625 .........0.100
OM0000002176 ............AL JAZEERA STEEL PRODUCTS ........................ 904,526 ..........135,722..................... 30 ............0.149 ........... 0.154 ...........0.149 ........... 0.150 ............. 0.145............ 0.005............. 3.448 ................0.150 ..............0.146...................0.152...................18,734,694 .........0.100
OM0000003026 ...........OMAN TELECOMMUNICATION ........................ 338,137.......... 488,718..................... 35 ............1.440 ........... 1.460 ...........1.440............1.445 ............. 1.405............ 0.040............. 2.847 ................1.440..............1.440...................1.455 ................1,083,750,000 ......0.100
OM0000001772 ............AL ANWAR HOLDING............................................... 4,354,308 ..... 656,193................... 177 ............0.154 ........... 0.154 ...........0.145 ............0.151 ............. 0.147............ 0.004............. 2.721 ................0.146 .............. 0.145...................0.146...................22,661,325 .........0.100
OM0000002440 ...........AL SHARQIA INVESTMENT HOLDING .............72,433 ............... 6,319..................... 10 ........... 0.086 ...........0.088 ...........0.086........... 0.087 .............0.085 ........... 0.002............. 2.353 ................0.086..............0.082...................0.086....................7,830,000 ..........0.100
OM0000004735 ...........SEMBCORP SALALAH................................................ 97,321 ..........232,899.....................22 ........... 2.390 ...........2.400 ...........2.390........... 2.395 .............2.350 ............0.045..............1.915.................2.400 ............ 2.400...................2.420 .................228,619,982........1.000
OM0000004768 ...........AL MADINA TAKAFUL...............................................31,000 ...............2,213........................3 ............0.071 ...........0.072 ...........0.070............0.071 .............0.070 ............0.001 ............. 1.429 ................0.072.............. 0.071...................0.074...................12,425,000.........0.100
OM0000003968 ...........OOREDOO....................................................................... 342,685 ......... 215,140.....................22 ........... 0.628 ...........0.628 ...........0.624........... 0.628 .............0.620 ........... 0.008............. 1.290 ................0.624..............0.624...................0.632..................408,792,976........0.100
OM0000001087............OMAN UNITED INSURANCE .................................50,394 ...............8,465........................8 ............0.166 ........... 0.170 ...........0.166 ............0.168 ............. 0.166............ 0.002............. 1.205 ................0.166 .............. 0.161...................0.166...................16,800,000.........0.100
OM0000002168............AL ANWAR CERAMIC TILES .................................68,127 .............19,252........................6 ........... 0.284 ...........0.284 ...........0.282........... 0.283 .............0.280 ........... 0.003..............1.071.................0.282..............0.282...................0.286 ..................83,828,472 .........0.100
OM0000004933 ...........AL SUWADI POWER .................................................. 2,622,905 ..... 497,637..................... 54 ............0.188 ........... 0.192 ...........0.188 ........... 0.190 ............. 0.188............ 0.002............. 1.064 ................0.191 .............. 0.191...................0.195 .................. 135,737,205 ........0.100
OM0000002374............UNITED FINANCE .......................................................44,776 ...............4,780........................5 ............0.110 ........... 0.110............0.105 ........... 0.107 .............0.106 ............0.001 .............0.943 ................0.106..............0.106...................0.109...................33,251,849 .........0.100
OM0000003224 ...........RENAISSANCE SERVICES ..................................... 143,265 ............16,762........................8 ............0.117 ........... 0.117............ 0.117 ............0.117 ............. 0.116 .............0.001 ............. 0.862 ................0.117 ...............0.117................... 0.119 ...................34,006,169 .........0.100

Top gainer was Gulf Investment Services, up

7.32 per cent while Al Hassan Engineering
was the top loser, down by 6.25 per cent

OM0000005005 ...........ALMAHA CERAMICS ..................................................49,559 .............16,949........................5 ........... 0.342 ...........0.342 ...........0.342........... 0.342 .............0.340 ........... 0.002............. 0.588 ................0.342..............0.342...................0.348 .................. 17,955,000 .........0.100
OM0000004925 ...........AL BATINAH POWER................................................ 2,081,427 ......393,602..................... 45 ............0.188 ........... 0.192 ...........0.188 ........... 0.189 ............. 0.188.............0.001 ............. 0.532 ................0.192 .............. 0.191...................0.192.................. 127,553,724 ........0.100
OM0000002796 ...........BANK MUSCAT ............................................................ 1,329,062 ...... 542,781..................... 55 ........... 0.408 ........... 0.410 ...........0.404 .......... 0.408 .............0.406 ........... 0.002............. 0.493 ................0.406..............0.406...................0.408 .................935,063,620 .......0.100
OM0000002226 ...........AL JAZEERA SERVICES ............................................ 51,499 .............11,845.....................20 ........... 0.230 ...........0.230 ...........0.230........... 0.230 .............0.229 ............0.001 ............. 0.437 ................0.230..............0.230...................0.240 ..................14,076,983 .........0.100
OM0000001145 ............PORT SERVICES CORPORATION ........................ 50,000 ............... 5,750........................3 ............0.115 ........... 0.115............ 0.115 ............0.115 ............. 0.115 ............ 0.000.............0.000 ................0.115 ...............0.115...................0.126...................10,929,600 .........0.100
OM0000001160 ............NATIONAL GAS ...............................................................5,000 ...............1,484........................3 ........... 0.300...........0.300 ...........0.296........... 0.294 .............0.294 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.296..............0.294...................0.296 ..................14,700,000 .........0.100
OM0000001418 ............RAYSUT CEMENT ........................................................33,826 ............32,202........................9 ........... 0.952 ...........0.952 ...........0.952........... 0.952 .............0.952 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.952..............0.948...................0.952................. 190,400,000 .......0.100
OM0000001483............NATIONAL BANK OF OMAN .................................. 54,000 .............11,905........................7 ........... 0.220........... 0.221 ...........0.220 .......... 0.220 .............0.220 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.220 .............0.210...................0.220 .................294,956,255 .......0.100
OM0000001533 ............OMINVEST ........................................................................ 8,999 ...............4,050........................1 ........... 0.450 ...........0.450 ...........0.450........... 0.450 .............0.450 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.450..............0.450...................0.470..................248,787,739 ........0.100

MUSCAT: Local buying in telecom and power stocks lifted the

MSM30 Index to 4,965.81 points,
up 0.49 per cent. The MSM Sharia Index advanced 0.23 per cent
to close at 806.19 points. Al Anwar Holding was the most active
in terms of volume while SMN
Power Holding led in terms of
turnover. The top gainer was Gulf
Investment Services, up 7.32 per
cent while Al Hassan Engineering was the top loser, down 6.25
per cent.
As many as 877 trades were
executed on Monday, generating
turnover of OMR4.84 million
with 19.4 million shares changing hands. Out of 47 traded securities, 21 advanced, 11 declined
and 15 remained unchanged.
Omani Investors were net buyers for OMR777,000 followed
by GCC & Arab Investors for
OMR188,000 while Foreign Investors remained net sellers for
OMR965,000 worth of shares.
Financial Index closed on a
positive note at 5,900.72 points,
up 0.48 per cent. Gulf Investment Services, Oman & Emirates
Holding, Al Anwar Holding, Al
Sharqia Investments and Al Izz

Bank gained 7.32 per cent, 3.75

per cent, 2.72 per cent, 2.35 per
cent and 1.82 per cent respectively. Takaful Oman and Al Batinah
Development fell 5.00 per cent
and 2.74 per cent respectively.
Industrial Index retreated
0.43 per cent to close at 6,435.84
points. Construction Materials,
Al Jazeera Steel, Al Anwar Ceramics and Al Maha Ceramics
increased 3.57 per cent, 3.45 per
cent, 1.07 per cent and 0.59 per
cent respectively. Al Hassan Engineering, Oman Cables, Voltamp
Energy, National Aluminium and
Gulf International Chemicals
declined 6.25 per cent, 4.06 per
cent, 2.38 per cent, 1.91 per cent
and 1.91 per cent respectively.
Services Index nished at
2,848.48 points with gain of 0.65
per cent. Omantel, Sembcorp
Salalah, Ooredoo, Al Suwadi
Power and Renaissance Services
gained 2.85 per cent, 1.91 per
cent, 1.29 per cent, 1.06 per cent
and 0.86 per cent respectively.
ACWA Power Barka, OIFC and
Shell Oman Marketing decreased
1.21 per cent, 0.59 per cent and
0.25 per cent respectively.

OM0000001962............AL MADINA INVESTMENT .....................................19,000 .................. 950........................4 ........... 0.050 ...........0.050 ...........0.050........... 0.050 .............0.050 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.050..............0.049...................0.050 .................. 10,357,569 .........0.100
OM0000002804 ...........ASAFFA FOODS .....................................................................34 .....................29........................1 ........... 0.844 ...........0.844 ...........0.844 .......... 0.860 .............0.860 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.844............. 0.000...................0.856................. 103,200,000 .......0.100
OM0000003125 ............GLOBAL FINANCIAL INVESTMENT ................. 20,000 .............. 2,040........................3 ............0.102 ........... 0.102 ...........0.102........... 0.102 .............0.102 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.102..............0.100...................0.103...................20,400,000 ........0.100
OM0000003398 ...........BANK SOHAR................................................................ 189,059............ 23,632........................7 ............0.125 ........... 0.125 ...........0.125 ............0.125 ............. 0.125............ 0.000.............0.000 ................0.125 ..............0.126...................0.127..................180,180,000........0.100
OM0000003521 ............GALFAR ENGINEERING AND CON. .................. 275,602 ............14,310......................15 ........... 0.052 ........... 0.053 ...........0.051 ........... 0.052 .............0.052 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.052..............0.052...................0.053...................15,078,993 .........0.100
OM0000004248 ...........SMN POWER HOLDING .......................................... 935,000 .........691,900..................... 26 ............0.740 ........... 0.740 ...........0.740........... 0.740 .............0.740 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.740............. 0.000...................0.740..................147,730,344 ........0.100
OM0000002275 ...........SHELL OMAN MARKETING ................................... 32,613 ............ 64,085........................6 ............1.965 ........... 1.965 ...........1.965 ............1.965 .............1.970............-0.005 ........... -0.254 ...............1.965 ..............1.800...................1.965 ..................186,675,000........0.100
OM0000001525 ............OMAN INVESTMENT AND FINANCE.............. 497,584 ........... 83,603.....................40 ............0.173 ........... 0.174 ...........0.165 ............0.168 ............. 0.169............-0.001 ........... -0.592 ...............0.166 ..............0.166...................0.169...................33,600,000.........0.100
OM0000003141 ............ACWA POWER BARKA ...............................................12,825 ...............8,362........................1 ........... 0.652 ........... 0.652 ...........0.652........... 0.652 .............0.660 ...........-0.008 ............-1.212................0.652..............0.594...................0.652................. 104,320,000 .......0.100
OM0000002028 ...........GULF INTERNATIONAL CHEMICALS ............. 64,049 .............16,466..................... 10 ............0.261 ........... 0.261 ...........0.256........... 0.257 .............0.262 ...........-0.005 ........... -1.908 ...............0.256..............0.257...................0.260 ................... 5,397,000 ..........0.100
OM0000001319 ............NATIONAL ALUMINIUM PRODUCTS .................8,400 ............... 1,724........................4 ........... 0.206...........0.206 ...........0.205........... 0.205 .............0.209 ...........-0.004 ............-1.914................0.205..............0.201...................0.205 ................... 6,882,147 ..........0.100
OM0000003661 ............VOLTAMP ENERGY .....................................................99,803 ............ 40,919......................14 ............0.410 ........... 0.410 ...........0.400 .......... 0.410 .............0.420 ...........-0.010 ........... -2.381 ...............0.410 ..............0.410...................0.416...................24,805,000 ........0.100
OM0000002366 ...........AL BATINAH DEV. INV. HOLDING ....................... 42,200 ...............2,985........................7 ........... 0.073 ........... 0.073 ...........0.070............0.071 .............0.073 ...........-0.002 ........... -2.740 ...............0.070..............0.066...................0.070....................2,130,000 ..........0.100
OM0000001707 ............OMAN CABLES INDUSTRY...................................... 91,566 .......... 140,749......................15 ............1.550 ........... 1.550 ...........1.500............1.535 .............1.600 ...........-0.065 ........... -4.063 ...............1.500..............1.440...................1.500..................137,689,500 ........0.100
.............................................SUM: .................................................................................. 16,544,247.....4,529,304 ..............723 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................... TRADED SEC. ......37........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

PARALLEL MARKET .................................................................................................................................................................................

OM0000001368 ............CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS IND. ....................10,000 .................. 286........................2 ........... 0.027 ...........0.029 ...........0.027........... 0.029 .............0.028 ............0.001 ............. 3.571 ................0.029..............0.028...................0.029 ...................2,465,000 ..........0.100
OM0000004511 ............ALIZZ ISLAMIC BANK.............................................. 320,469 ............ 17,976.....................24 ........... 0.056 ........... 0.057 ...........0.055........... 0.056 .............0.055 ............0.001 ..............1.818.................0.055..............0.055...................0.056...................56,000,000.........0.100
OM0000005963 ...........PHOENIX POWER ...................................................... 1,687,672...... 222,946..................... 74 ............0.130 ........... 0.133 ...........0.130........... 0.132 ............. 0.131 .............0.001 ............. 0.763 ................0.132 ..............0.132...................0.133..................193,063,393........0.100
OM0000001566 ............OMAN FISHERIES .......................................................21,300 .................. 979........................6 ........... 0.046 ...........0.046 ...........0.045........... 0.046 .............0.046 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.046..............0.045...................0.046 ................... 5,750,000 ..........0.100
OM0000004420 ...........BANK NIZWA ................................................................ 415,316 .............26,191..................... 28 ........... 0.064 ...........0.064 ...........0.062........... 0.063 .............0.063 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.062..............0.062...................0.063...................94,500,000 ........0.100
OM0000004776 ...........TAKAFUL OMAN INSURANCE ............................. 50,000 ...............4,750........................1 ........... 0.095 ........... 0.095 ...........0.095........... 0.095 .............0.100 ...........-0.005 ........... -5.000 ...............0.095..............0.095...................0.100....................9,500,000 ..........0.100
OM0000002564 ...........AL HASSAN ENGINEERING....................................10,000 ..................602........................9 ............0.061 ........... 0.061 ...........0.060........... 0.060 .............0.064 ...........-0.004 ........... -6.250 ...............0.060..............0.060...................0.065....................4,512,480 ..........0.100
.............................................SUM: .................................................................................. 2,514,757 ...... 273,729...................144 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................... TRADED SEC. ........ 7........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

BONDS AND SUKUK MARKET ......................................................................................................................................................................

OM0000004602 ...........BANK MUSCAT CONV. BONDS 4.5 ........................ 23,518 ...............2,587........................3 ............0.110 ........... 0.110............0.110 ............0.110 ............. 0.110............ 0.000.............0.000 ................0.110 .............. 0.110...................0.200 ..................33,302,402.........0.100
OM0000005971 ............B.MUSCAT COMPL. CONVR. B.B.3.5 .....................82,478 ............... 7,835........................3 ........... 0.095 ........... 0.095 ...........0.088........... 0.095 .............0.095 ........... 0.000.............0.000 ................0.088..............0.089...................0.190...................30,795,353 .........0.100
OM0000004867 ...........BANK MUSCAT C C B 4.5 ......................................... 303,413 ............31,251........................4 ............0.101 ........... 0.103 ...........0.101 ........... 0.103 .............0.104 ...........-0.001 ........... -0.962 ...............0.103 ..............0.103...................0.110 ...................32,923,196 .........0.100
.............................................SUM: .................................................................................. 409,409 ............41,674..................... 10 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................... TRADED SEC. ........ 3........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

United Securities



Canadas once oil boom town now

painfully adjusts to life after bust
FORT MCMURRAY, (ALBERTA): Canadas northern oil hub
Fort McMurray is learning the
hard way that there is no such
thing as simply going back to
normal after a long boom that
got cut short by the collapse in
crude prices.
With prices down 70 per cent
over 18 months, producers have
deferred costly new oil sands projects and laid off tens of thousands
of mainly y-in y-out workers,
who overwhelmed the city during the 15-year oil boom, but also
bankrolled much of its prosperity.
That huge shadow population,
which by some estimates peaked
at around 70,000 nearly matching
the citys permanent population
of around 80,000, stretched its
public services, inated rents and
property prices.
The stress was so great that city
officials welcomed the onset of
the market downturn with a sense
of relief - an opportunity to return
to a more balanced development.
Now, downtown parking and
spots at popular restaurants and
cafes are easy to nd and traffic
ows smoothly. But local businesses estimate that half of the
transient workers have left, heading home to other parts of Alberta
and other provinces, and say the
exodus has hit them hard.
Anybody who tells you its not
tough, they are lying, said Jeff
Peddle, a restaurant owner and
property manager. He said he and
his wife work 15-hour days, seven
days a week, to keep their businesses going after cutting staff.
Several new restaurants opened
in the city in 2015 in an unlucky
twist of timing, including Peddles
Jamaican restaurant, and Cosa
Nostra, an upscale Italian with a
dress code and live piano music.

SHRINKING CITY: The Suncor tar sands processing plant near the
Athabasca River at their mining operations near Fort McMurray,
Alberta, in this le photo taken September 17, 2014. Reuters

I started this project two years

ago when this town was booming
and everything was rock and roll,
said Cosa Nostra owner and chef
Mark Hobson. Now everybody
is crossing their ngers. We are
struggling with the fact there are
not a lot of people in town.
Statistics paint a similar picture of a swift and painful descent
from the heights of the boom
when the regional economy kept
growing by nearly eight per cent
a year.
Last year, local authorities estimate it shrunk by over one per
cent, while unemployment in the
Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region
nearly doubled over the past year
to 8.6 per cent in December.
The city started trimming its
budgets shelving C$84 million of
capital projects in 2015, including
an energy supply pipe to downtown Fort McMurray and a waste
water treatment plant. It also
trimmed its initial 2016 budget by
C$30 million to C$831 million.
Demand for the local food bank,
which mainly caters to the local

population, soared 76 per cent last

year, according to executive director Arianna Johnson.
Shrinking city syndrome
Fort McMurray and other former hotspots, such as Williston
in the heart of North Dakotas
vast Bakken shale formation, risk
experiencing a shrinking city
syndrome that Rust Belt mining towns grappled with decades
ago, said Sandeep Agrawal, urban
studies and regional planning
professor at the University of Alberta.
It is very difficult for these municipalities to change course because they have never thought in
that way, or they get caught in the
euphoria of growth, Agrawal said.
Local officials frown at boomtown or ghost town labels, saying there is more to the local economy than oil.
It was a boomtown western
frontier, which is not true, and
now its doom and gloom and
Fort McMurray is empty, which
is also not true, councillor Tyran

Ault said. There is no denying

though, that oil has been a key
factor in the modern history of
the city that was founded in 1870
as a fur trading post and a gateway to the Arctic.
A C$250 million investment
in the 1960s by the company that
is now Suncor Energy hatched
the oil sands industry that went
into overdrive in the 2000s with
improved technology and climbing global oil prices. Workers
would y in from as far away as
Cape Breton on Canadas Atlantic
Coast and the permanent population soared by more than 70 per
cent between 2000 and 2012.
Now the city, which in 2011
projected its population to reach
230,000 by 2030, is adjusting its
budgets to new forecasts of 1-2
per cent population growth and
grappling with post-boom withdrawal symptoms.
For sale signs pop up on almost every block, 30 per cent of
rental properties are empty compared with around 10 per cent a
year earlier and some commercial
buildings sit vacant downtown.
The airport, lavishly refurbished in 2014 for C$258 million
($182.81 million) saw December
2015 passenger numbers drop by
a quarter year-on-year and ights
to destinations such as Denver,
Colorado and Mexico suspended.
Nearly half of the citys 2,550
hotel rooms stood empty last year
compared with a third in 2014, as
did camps in the muskeg and boreal forest surrounding the city
that housed tens of thousands of
the y-in-y-out workers.
Our parents said save for a
rainy day, said Ian Robb, president of the union representing
camp cleaners and cooks. Well,
its pouring now. Reuters

What the US Federal Reserve

is planning to do this week?

HEN Federal
Reserve officials
started a rate-hiking
cycle last month, they hoped
their widely telegraphed policy
action would neither derail the
recovery nor overly destabilise
nancial markets.
The Fed lifts off
As hard as it was for the officials
to gauge exactly the extent of
the nancial markets dependence on Fed support, they
couldnt have also anticipated
that a series of uncharacteristic
policy mistakes by China, along
with another steep drop in oil
prices, would throw off
market sentiment.
This week, the Federal Open
Market Committee (FOMC),
the Feds top policy-making
venue, will meet as markets are
undergoing a transition in both
volatility and liquidity, which
has accentuated the unusual uncertainty besetting the
global economy. Here are four
indications of what Fed officials
are likely to do and not do:
basis-point interest rate hike of
December. Further tightening
would risk fueling the volatility
in markets. Moreover, liquidity conditions already have
tightened as a result of recent
market developments. As a result, the Fed will wish to avoid
aggravating the risk of market
instability contaminating economic fundamentals.
course and cut interest rates.
There is no compelling evidence of a material weakening
in the US economic outlook,
at least for now. Fed officials
would worry, correctly, that

such a move could be interpreted as an act of policy panic,

which would further spook
companies that already are
hesitant to deploy their large
cash balances into higher capital spending,
acknowledge the recent market
volatility, coupled with the risk
of further economic weakening
abroad. But the central banks
communication will not dwell
on this. Also, unlike European
Central Bank (ECB) President
Mario Draghi did last week,
Fed officials will not meaningfully raise market expectations
of policy accommodation in
future. Instead, they will reiterate that they remain watchful
and data dependent. In doing
so, they will try to strike a tricky
balance between reassuring
markets and avoiding giving
the appearance that markets
dictate policy reactions.
clearly reected in the meetings minutes that will be
released in a few weeks than
in the immediate statement,
Fed officials will acknowledge
implicitly that their policy
condence is not as high as they
would like it be; and understandably so. In addition to the
uncertain global economic and
market outlook, there are questions about the exact impact
of policy measures, including
the manner monetary policy
changes economic behaviors.
There will be indications that
the views of individual Fed
officials are starting to diverge
once again, after a period of
relative unity. Such lack of
consensus would be understandable given the stronger
component of judgement that is
now required. Bloomberg View



Love us on



GCC posts 7% growth in

aluminium production


Oman Sail, OSC host

children of Down
Syndrome Association

Sohar Aluminiums total production in 2015

stood at 377,186 tonnes

MUSCAT: The collective production of primary aluminium by the

ve GCC producers - Emirates
Global Aluminium in UAE, Alba
in Bahrain, Maaden Aluminium
in KSA, Qatalum in Qatar and Sohar Aluminium in Oman stood at
5,274,729 tonnes in 2015, a 7 per
cent more than in 2014.
Sohar Aluminiums total production in 2015 stood at 377,186
tonnes, says a press release.

This is the highest production

record in GCC reecting continuous efficiency improvements and
optimisation of resource, said
Mahmood Al Daylami, secretary
general of Gulf Aluminium Council.
GCC aluminium production
constitutes 10 per cent of the total world production and is considered one of the key economic
drivers for the Gulf region. Forty
per cent of the total production are

utilised by the downstream aluminium industries in the Gulf and

60 per cent exported to different
parts of the world. GCC remains
one of the leading regions for aluminium production with higher

environmental standards compared to the rest of the world.

Sohar Aluminium is jointly
owned by Oman Oil Company, Abu
Dhabi National Energy Company
PJSC - TAQA and Rio Tinto.


Ooredoo appoints new deputy chief nancial officer

MUSCAT: Ooredoo has welcomed Abdul Razzaq Al Balushi as
its new Deputy Chief Finance Ofcer in the top layer of the organisation. Initially on an international executive mobility programme
with Ooredoo Group, he will then
return to resume his responsibilities in Ooredoo Oman.
Abdul Razzaq brings an impressive 24 years of multi-disciplinary
experience and expertise to his
Ooredoo role, having held nancial
leader positions in nance, banking, treasury, budgets & accounts
and having worked in strategy &
corporate planning, as well as investment and risk management
amongst other areas. Prior to joining Ooredoo, Al Balushis highpowered career included positions
with Oman Trading International
Operations in the UAE, HSBC,

Abdul Razzaq brings an impressive 24 years of multidisciplinary experience and expertise to his Ooredoo role,
having held financial leader positions in finance, banking,
treasury, budgets & accounts and having worked in
strategy & corporate planning, as well as investment and
risk management amongst other areas
Oman LNG, Oman Shipping Company and Aldersgate Partners, says
a press release.
Abdul Razzaq will be a great asset to the Ooredoo family. A champion of change who encourages
creativity in his team, he is a highly-dynamic professional with a
reputation for results. I am excited

to see him apply his considerable

skills to our operations, said Greg
Young, Ooredoo CEO.
A graduate of Strathclyde University UK, and the College of
Banking and Financial Studies
Oman with a Masters of Business Administration, Abdul Raz-

zaq is also a Certied Treasury &

Finance Professional and holds
Certicates in Accounts, Banking
& Trade.
Over the past decade, Ooredoo
has dedicated its resources to the
development and creation of opportunities for Omanis.

MUSCAT: Oman Sail put a smile

on the faces of 20 new sailing enthusiasts when they and Oman
Shipping Company (OSC) hosted
a group of Downs syndrome children and their parents to a day of
fun at their sailing school at Al
Mouj, Muscat.
As well as introducing the
families to the joys of sailing, the
purpose of the visit was to raise
awareness of social inclusion by
engaging the children in an exciting fun day. It was also a chance
for the newly-formed Oman
Down Syndrome Association to
promote their specialist services
and create a greater understanding of the condition, which affects
around one in every 400 babies
born in Oman, says a press release.
With Oman Sail coaches on
hand to show them the ropes,
the children were welcomed to
Oman Sails sailing school and
taken out sailing on a eet of Bahia boats, which earned them a
special certicate.
Speaking about their support, Tarik Al Junaidi, CEO of
Oman Shipping Company, added:
Down Syndrome has achieved
greater prominence since the
UN started observing March 21
as the global awareness day for
it and we are delighted to be able
to support the Oman Down Syn-

drome Association as part of our

Corporate Social Responsibility
Ahmed Al Jabri, chairman of
the Down Syndrome Association,
said: Children and adults with
Down syndrome have many talents and gifts, so experiences like
this one are invaluable in allowing them to discover and develop
them. The Oman Down Syndrome Association was founded
in 2014 to provide the essential
training, rehabilitation and educational courses for children
with this syndrome to accelerate
natural growth and help integrate
them into the society.
More and more, we are seeing
a higher incidence of people taking these courses and completing
training programmes. Increasingly, they are being encouraged to
socialise, develop friendships and
maintain quality relationships
and we are doing a lot of work to
support that development."
Al Jabri went on to explain that
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal
condition, and it occurs when
an individual has three, rather
than two, 21st chromosomes
and although people with Down
Syndrome experience cognitive
delays, the effect is usually mild
to moderate.


SBG Parts Centre hosts International Maritime College students

MUSCAT: For a customer-focused

organisation like Saud Bahwan
Group (SBG), parts distribution
forms a critical element of operations. Having invested extensively
in establishing a nationwide network, SBGs parts facilities today
dot the Sultanate.
The group manages its vast,
nationwide network with stateof-the-art equipment and trained
professionals. At the core of these
parts distribution operations
is SBGs ultra-modern Toyota
Parts Distribution Centre (PDC).
Equipped with the latest tools and
equipment, the PDC, spread over
60,000 sq. metres, operates in accordance with advanced Toyota
specications and processes.
Recently, several batches of students from the International Maritime College Oman visited the
facility. The students had an educational tour, learning about the

various aspects of warehousing

and parts distribution. They were
also familiarised with diverse aspects of warehousing operations
that include Warehouse Management System, Best Practices,
Warehouse Layout, Equipment including Hardware & Software and
Supply Chain Management, says a
press release.
Consistently ranked amongst
the best in the region, the SBG
PDC is often requested to share its
best practices. As the SBG representative remarked: In an effort
to facilitate learning and sharing
of knowledge, we periodically conduct process-training familiarisations for a number of organisations. Over the years, students and
staff from various leading establishments have visited and beneted from these programmes.
To know something theoretically and then to have a chance

In an effort to facilitate learning and sharing of

knowledge, we periodically conduct process-training
familiarisations for a number of organisations. Over
the years, students and staff from various leading
establishments have visited and benefited from
these programmes
SBG representative

to witness it in real life, aids in its

understanding. By watching complex warehousing operations happening in front of their eyes, the
students are able get a feel of it all.
This greatly helps in their overall
development, he added.
For the benet of the students,
the PDC team also conducts classroom sessions that cover Toyotas
7-storage principles, receiving &
despatch operations, oor operations (in each area of activity). The
team also apprises visitors about
critical safety procedures that are
strictly followed.
Utilising the latest computer
and communication technology, the Saud Bahwan Group Toyota Parts Distribution Centre uses
custom-built software to ensure
global standards of service while
maintaining lean and highly efficient operations.
These include the use of elec-

tronic catalogues, extensive networks and satellite links to principals, amongst others.
Toyota Motor Corporation has
showered acclaim for SBGs outstanding performance year after
year. Toyota also rates SBG Parts
Logistics to be among the Worlds
Best 5 and has honoured it with
the Distributor of the Year
award, year after year. The accolades have poured in from other
Principals, as well.
These awards spur each team
member towards achieving even
higher standards of excellence,
and inspire them to share these
winning principles with customers, students and staff of professional bodies in Oman.
We are happy to share best
practices that raise standards, not
merely with our own clients, but
also with organisations all over
Oman, added the spokesperson.



Oman LNG wins award
at Trafc Safety contest


The achievement
comes in recognition
of the companys
wide and incessant
efforts and initiatives

Iran Solo Exhibition

to be inaugurated
by Dr Ali Al Sunaidy

in promoting road
safety nationwide

MUSCAT: Oman LNG recently

prevailed as the winner of the 2015
Royal Oman Police (ROP) Traffic
Safety competition.
The achievement comes in recognition of the companys wide
and incessant efforts and initiatives in promoting road safety nationwide, says a press release.
The award in the category of
private sector organisations was
unveiled during a prestigious ceremony held under the patronage of
Mohammed bin Ali bin Al Zubair,
adviser to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for Economic Planning Affairs, in the presence of
Lt. General Hassan bin Mohsin
Al Sheraiqi, Inspector-General of
Police and Customs at the Traffic
Safety Institute.
The award was received by
Khalid bin Abdullah Al Massan,
chief executive officer of Oman
LNG Development Foundation.
With safety high on our priority
list, we are very proud to receive
such a prestigious award from
ROP. For us this award means so
much more; it acknowledges our
dedication, recognises the collaboration with ROP, and commends the combined efforts of the
government and private sector towards improving traffic and road
safety, said Harib Al Kitani, chief
executive officer, Oman LNG.

Oman LNG is persistent in its

quest to improve traffic safety.
Its attainment of the prestigious
award comes after years of hard
work and dedication towards innovative road safety initiatives
and projects.
Projects sponsored by Oman
LNG include the development a
pedestrian bridge in Sur, national
road and traffic safety awareness
training campaigns for adults and
children across the country as well
as spearheading efforts to encourage a strong safety culture among
staff and their families.
In 2015, Oman LNG sponsored
an educational animation lm on
traffic safety that won an international rst prize at the Global Road
Safety Film Festival. Additionally,
recently announced Gift to Nation
projects one of which is a futuristic Road Safety Institute in Sur
to streamline efforts retained for
traffic safety and to curtail road
accidents - illustrates the companys relentless efforts in improving traffic safety across the nation

through awareness, training as

well as through improvements to
road infrastructure.
Harib Al Kitani added: Oman
LNG efforts come as an immediate positive response to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saids royal
Meet the People Tour in Sohar in
2009, where His Majesty emphasised that traffic safety remained
a joint effort between the government, private sector and individuals in order to enhance the Omani
society by fostering abilities and
knowledge to achieve safe road
use and traffic participation. His
Majesty thankfully urged government and society to put an end to
the alarming number of road accidents and reckless driving. Since
then, measures have been taken
to improve traffic safety that are
clearly marking signs of success as
shown by the recently published
statistics from the ROP indicating
a 50 per cent reduction in fatalities
caused by road accidents over the
last few years.
We are very proud and hum-

bled by receiving this prestigious

ROP award, said Khalid Al Massan. It is a true testament to our
determination and unremitting
efforts to improve road and trafc safety across the Sultanate and
would encourage us and other private sector entities to go further
and do more in the future.
Aim of the contest
Traffic Safety Competition aims
to encourage the whole society to
participate in enhancing road safety and therefore curtails traffic accidents. Additionally, the competition includes the governmental,
non-governmental, private sector
organisations, and individuals in
the quest for spreading traffic safety awareness. The competition
also provides a platform to partner
with the private sector to train and
qualify road users and to implement road safety schemes. Finally,
it emphasises the governmental,
non-governmental, private sector
organisations and individuals efforts to reduce road accidents.

MUSCAT: Second edition of

the Iran Country Solo Exhibition, Omanexpos exclusive trade
event for Iran products, will be
formally opened tomorrow at the
Oman International Exhibition
Center by Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al
Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce
and Industry.
The exhibition, which will run
from today till January 30, will
feature companies that cover diverse product segments ranging
from handmade and machinemade carpets, home appliances,
interior decoration, agricultural
and food products, and household
products to steel and metal, petrochemical products, power and
industry-related equipment, construction materials and industrial
machinery, says a press release.
Of special focus is the automotive section, which displays auto
parts and components by Iran
manufacturers of vehicles, tires
and spare parts.
Nader Abbas, general manager of Omanexpo, said: After
the successful and encouraging
response to the rst edition last
year, we are glad to continue the
cooperation with our Iran part-

ners. We are doing this in the

spirit of further strengthening
economic and friendly ties and
taking advantage of the opportunities resulting from the lifting
of the sanctions. He added that
the event will help promote the
high-quality products of Iran and
pave the way for their expansion
and increase their trade presence
in identied markets in Oman. It
will also open up opportunities for
SMEs,manufacturers and distributors who are seeking to increase
their business prospects and expand their businesses.
Iran Country Solo Exhibition
is open from 11am to 8pm, except
on Friday, when the exhibition
will be open from 4pm to 10pm. It
is held under the patronage of Dr
Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy and
Ali Akbar Sibeveih, Ambassador
of Iran and co-organised with
Iran-based Avin International
Holding and Expo Trade International Holding.
Last years inaugural edition,
which featured nearly 100 Iran
companies specialising in various sectors, is said to be the biggest country solo exhibition in
Oman to date.


Sidewalk bistro and health caf opens in Qurum

MUSCAT: The Golden Spoon
Group, one of the largest hospitality chains in Oman, officially inaugurated Sidewalk bistro and health
caf at Qurum CCC recently.
A 100 per cent Omani brand,
Sidewalk is a new generation
bistro and health caf that has a
wide menu bursting with various
exquisite and wholesome health
food creations and combinations,
says a press release.
Saad Al Balushi, managing director, Golden Spoon Group commented: We want to thank all
our special guests who made the
event memorable and a grand success. Sidewalk is a vibrant health
caf that will surely appeal to the
youth and elders alike. We have
a large and extensive selection
of exotic and sumptuous foods
including breakfast and brunch
specials, coffee, milkshakes and
juices. Sidewalk is also joining the
health revolution by offering lean
and muscle building meal plans
for the determined individuals
who are interested in having portion controlled dietary meals in
the course of the day.
Basically, we have something
for everyone. Also, the ambience
at Sidewalk is very refreshing and
will add to the overall dining experience of our customers. To celebrate its grand opening, we are announcing the launch of a 30-day
weight loss challenge in which
our clients have a chance to win
OMR100 and a healthy shape!
Under the Sidewalks 30-day

challenge, a person has to enrol

for a monthly diet plan with the
caf and follow a strict exercise
regime. After 30 days, all the contestants will be weighed and the
person who has lost the maximum
kilos will win OMR100.
The 30 day challenge is not
only about weight loss numbers;
we hope it will instil in our cus-

tomers a larger understanding of

health, nutrition and active lifestyle, Saad adds.
The Golden Spoon Group was
established in the year 1993,
opening its rst branch in Seeb,
Sultanate of Oman. It is engaged
in activities related to the hospitality industry with a core focus
on delivering maximum value for

money, providing food made with

the nest ingredients.
Over the years, the company
has grown to include the following in its roster: The Asian, The
Golden Spoon Restaurant, Tropical Juices and Ice Creams, China
Town Restaurant, Sidewalk Bistro and Health cafe, Manhattan
Fish Market and Subway.



Love us on


All-new 2016 GMC Sierra

now available in Oman
Available in the
showrooms across
Oman, the 2016
GMC Sierra Light
Duty has a fresh
new appearance
along with advanced
engineering features

MUSCAT: With upscale styling,

new design and ample technology, that is sure to impress any
tech-savvy enthusiast, the 2016
GMC Sierra distinctively sets itself apart.
Available in the showrooms
across Oman, the 2016 GMC Sierra Light Duty has a fresh new
appearance along with advanced
engineering features. The Sierra

Regular Cab 2016 is attractively

priced at OMR13,995 along with
a three-year/100,000 kilometres
warranty and four-year roadside
assistance, says a press release.
As capable and coveted as ever,
GMC Sierra is equipped with all
tech features, trimmings and conveniences that one expects from a
luxury car, stated Virendra Agarwal, CEO Moosa Abdul Rahman
Hassan & Co, the exclusive distributors of GMC vehicles in the
Sultanate of Oman with branches
and a service network that covers
all major locations across Oman.
The model has an intimidating list of features. New design

elements and lighting technology

upgrades include LED C-shaped
signature daytime running lights
and LED headlights; new front fascia and grilles for each trim level;
new LED fog lamps; new bumpers;
and new C-shaped LED taillights,
says a press release.
Advanced engineering in the
2016 Sierra is manifested in nextgeneration technologies such as
Lane Keep Assist, which helps
keep the truck in its lane with subtle steering enhancements, and
IntelliBeam headlamp control
that automatically adjusts the high
beams for oncoming traffic.
The 2016 Sierras new technolo-



gies also include phone integration

via GMC IntelliLink, which enhances connectivity and promotes
safer driving. It allows smartphone
users to connect with applications
such as navigation and hands-free
messaging. Wireless phone charging is included on all models with
front bucket seats.
Other features include eightspeed automatic transmission as
standard with the 5.3L V-8 engine
on SLT and standard with the
6.2L V-8 engine on Sierra Denali.
Remote locking tailgate on SLE,
SLT and Denali is also standard.
It comes in attractive colours that
include Crimson Red Tintcoat,
Cardinal Red, Mahogany Metallic
and White Frost Tintcoat.
On the other hand, what has not
changed with the Sierra is its high
level of capability.
The available max trailering
package, for example, features
a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty
rear springs, unique shock tuning,
enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller. It enables a maximum payload rating of
1,025kg and a maximum trailering
rating of 5,443kg.


Park Inn Duqm marks 1st

anniversary with special
package to hotel visitors
MUSCAT: Park Inn by Radisson
Hotel & Residence Duqm will be
celebrating the rst year of success with an exclusive anniversary package for their hotel visitors.
To commemorate the anniversary, Park Inn Duqm will offer guests a complimentary one
night stay for every night booked
in a retail rate during the weekends for the month of February
2016, says a press release.
The package includes complimentary Wi-Fi, use of tennis
court, gym, pool and kids corner.
In addition, the hotel is offering a
15 per cent discount on food and
drinks in all hotel outlets for the
full month of February.
Since the official opening in
January 2015, in only one year
of operation, the Park Inn Duqm
has received a Green Key Hotel
certicate, certied HACCP employees, rank number two out of
four on Tripadvisor, 8.8 score on On Social media,
the hotel has over 5,000 likes on
Facebook and 1,300 followers
on Instagram.
We would like to thank all our
guests, employees and suppliers
for their support for the past year.

Park Inn Duqm will offer

guests a complimentary
one night stay for every
night booked in a retail rate
during the weekends for
the month of February
Park Inn by Radisson has already
established a reputation worldwide as one of the leading midscale hotels in the region. Many
accommodation units provide
stunning beach views. The hotel
offers options for short-term and
extended stays, said Rabih Zein,
cluster general manager, Park
Inn Duqm & Park Inn Muscat.
The 4 star property has 73 accommodation units, with 50 onebedroom chalets, eight two- bedroom villas, 13 one-bedroom and
two two-bedroom apartments.
Guests can also take advantage
of a kitchenette equipped with
crockery, cutlery, a kitchen range
and a microwave.

S TAT E - O F - T H E -A R T FA C I L I T Y

Food festival held at Smile Hypermarket

MUSCAT: Smile Hypermarket,
Saham, organised Food Festival
2016 on its premises recently.
Ismail Chakorth, group managing director, inaugurated the
event. Jassim Kuniyil, group
operations director, Bachu Sulaiman, AGM and officials were
present during the occasion, says
a press release.
Wide range of different varieties of Arabic, South Indian and
Chinese food items, entertainment activities and opportunities for the crowd to participate
in the cookery show were the
main highlights of the event.


MoT appoints Four

Communication as
for UK and Ireland
MUSCAT: The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) of the Sultanate of
Oman has selected Four Communication, a company which specialises in the tourism marketing and
promotion segment, as the Market
Based Representative for the UK &
Ireland, effective January 2016.
The role
The role of Four Communication
will be to enhance the promotion of

Oman as a tourism destination by

increasing the Sultanates visibility
and exposure in the designated territory, says a press release.
The Ministry of Tourism believes that the selected company
will provide the highest of international standards in developing
the tourism sector and deliver notable improvements over the next
strategic period for the Sultanate
of Oman.

Oman Barista
bags 2nd place in
global contest
MUSCAT: Aubrhey Rosales, a
barista from the Muscat International Airport Costa store, was
one of nine nalists from around
the world to compete in the 10th
annual Barista of the Year competition at Tobacco Dock, London and he won the second place.
The prestigious international
competition saw Costas most
accomplished baristas come
together to battle for the title of
Costa 2015 Barista of the Year.
The judges were particularly
impressed with Aubrheys creativity. For the nal part of the
competition, his signature drink
was the Espresso Gassata.

Al Naba Equipment opens new showroom

MUSCAT: Al Naba Equipment &
Supplies recently opened a new
showroom another benchmark
milestone in the spectacular
growth curve that the company
has been riding in recent years.
The state-of-the-art store showcases some of the stellar brands
driving the business success of
its growing portfolio of corporate
customers, says a press release.
Prominent tie-ups with world
class brands have made the specialist supplier a top contender
for the provision of industrial
kitchen and laundry equipment
in the Sultanate of Oman and
even beyond the borders.
Angelo Po from Italy, Sammic
from Spain and Empero Group
from Turkey are some of the
brands vying for attention at the
new showroom.
Angelo Po is a company par excellence with over 90 years of history behind it and a global market
leader in the professional kitchen
system planning and production
sector. Angelo Pos world-re-

nowned solutions offer superior

quality and the company is able to
anticipate new trends, supporting chefs and allowing them to
achieve excellence. Ovens by the
German manufacturer Rational
are also one of the high demand
equipment available.
Laundry equipment manufacturing stalwarts such as Girbau
from Spain, Kromluks from Turkey and Italclean from Italy are
also a part of the companys impressive portfolio.
Not surprisingly, Al Nabas
equipment and products are in
operation at some of Omans leading hotels, restaurants, commercial caterers, industrial kitchens,
shopping malls, supermarkets,
cold stores, and so on.
The company recently installed
a kitchen for The Yellow Chilli, a
signature Sanjeev Kapoor restaurant at Al Mouj and for the future
outlet at the Panorama Mall.
Pizza Express at Muscat City
Centre, Arabian Grill House and
Majlis Caf at Oman Avenues

Mall have also been tted by Al

Naba Equipment. Convenience
stores operated as part of the lling station network of Oman Oil
Marketing Company have also
sourced their equipment needs
from Al Naba. Other recent customers include Safeer Hotels in
Salalah and Consolidated Contractors Company.
For Al Naba Equipment & Services, the new showroom is an
opportunity to leverage the popularity of its product range and
thereby position itself for a new
phase of growth going forward.
The opening of this showroom
is a signicant milestone for our
business and also exemplies
the growing market appeal of
the brands we represent. As the
economy grows, so will the uptake of our products a demand
that will be further strengthened
as customers build condence in
our company and the brands we
represent, commented the Business Head of Al Naba Equipment
& Supplies.




Love us on

Bank Sohar claims Best

Customer Service award
The award highlights
Bank Sohars market
leading customerservice standards
and high levels of
customer satisfaction
across its network and
call centre services

MUSCAT: Cementing its position

as one of Omans most customerfocused institutions, Bank Sohar
announced that it has received
the Best Customer Service award
from the Banker Middle East
Product Awards 2015 from CPI Financial, Dubai, UAE.
On receiving the award, Rashad Ali Al Musar, Acting CEO
of Bank Sohar, commented: We
are extremely honoured to be recognised in the customer service
category by CPI Financial. This
award speaks volumes for the positive results we have achieved for
our ongoing bank-wide campaign
to continue raising the standards
on customer service. It also stands

as a testament to our entire teams

dedication and commitment to
continually deliver the best in customer service.
The award highlights Bank Sohars market leading customerservice standards and high levels
of customer satisfaction across its
network and call centre services.
In no small part the award is a result of the banks Customer Service
Campaign, launched in 2015. The
campaign once again reaffirmed
Bank Sohars commitment towards
delivering excellence in customer
service across branches, divisions
and the various customer interaction channels. The campaign drove
emphasis on developing online response and call centre services to
provide a holistic banking experience for Bank Sohars customers.
With the implementation of
the Customer Service Campaign,
the bank has focused on further
improving and streamlining customer interactions and in turn,

offer an even more efficient and

personalised service that effectively leverages its market-leading technological capabilities to
further improve customer convenience and align itself well with
global industry best practices.
Superior customer service has
always been a core pillar of our operational philosophy and is a fundamental part of our culture. Our
commitment to provide products,
services and features customers
seek has been instrumental in our
ability to steadily grow despite
market competition. As such, we
will continue to roll out new products and services that will reward
our customers, streamline their
overall banking experience and
raise the service excellence bar
even higher in the industry, added
Rashad Al Musar.
This latest award represents the
rst recognition for the bank in
2016, having already received 16
local, regional and international

acknowledgements in year 2015.

The Banker Middle East Product Awards is conducted by CPI
Financial based out of Dubai,
UAE. The entity is one of the regions most inuential publishers
of business and nancial news
through digital and print media.
The awards are amongst the most
sought-after honours in the banking industry. An award translates
into huge market exposure for the
winner and a signicant enhancement of its brand equity. Not surprisingly, competition for a position on the honours list is erce.
The awards programme operates
on a peer-vote basis. Awards categories are established as a result
of dialogue with industry observers in each country and an initial
short-list of potential candidates
and their products or services assembled. These short-lists are
published on CPI Financial website ( and,
although not mandatory, the respective institutions are allowed
to provide supporting material to
promote their entries.
The short-lists are maintained
on the website for a period of ve
weeks during which the entries
are promoted to the readership of
Banker Middle East and the registered users of the website, which
comprise of approximately 12,000
unique users, inviting them to vote
for the products and institutions
that they believe deserve to win.


5 0 Y E A R S C E L E B R AT I O N

Chance to win gold coins,

free meals from KFC

MUSCAT: KFC is celebrating

50 years of Original Recipe, and
currently running a campaign for
customers giving a chance to win
gold coins or weekly free meal for
one year.
Customers, who purchase any
family meals or super upsize any
golden meals, will receive a rafe coupon which will be drawn
every Friday throughout the duration of the promo. Winners will

be called and will be announced

on KFCs official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The
promotion will run until February 6, says a press release.
KFC picked the rst raffle draw
winners recently. Watch out for
the next raffle draw, you might
be the next lucky winner of KFC
gold coin and KFC golden card!
This promotion applies to all
KFC outlets nationwide.


Toyota Zone at Muscat Festival features innovative programmes

MUSCAT: Toyota welcomes everyone to its stall at Muscat Festival, to enjoy festive delights.
The event line up provides great
excitement at the Naseem Garden
and Al Amerat venues. The Toyota
Zones feature innovative programmes and quizzes.
These specially prepared programmes run in concurrent modules and include brain-tickling
quiz sessions, games specially
planned for kids, balloon handouts
and performances by Tannoora
dancers from Egypt apart from
many entertaining feats by acrobats, says a press release.
Its time to enjoy for one and
all a wonderful opportunity for

our customers to get closer to the

brand. Like the previous years, this
year too Toyota is the gold sponsor
at the festival the Muscat Festival,
which runs till February 13, 2016,
the company spokesperson said.
The team at Saud Bahwan Automotive have planned a range of
activities that are set to raise the
level of celebrations through many
entertaining modules, he adds.
The Muscat Festival celebrates
traditional arts, culture and heritage while providing people of
Oman fun, adventure, excitement
and entertainment.
Over the years Toyota has made
its presence felt at the Muscat Festival, said a visitor, Every year

there are many exciting and engaging events visitors look forward
to at the Toyota zones. This year,
Toyota is presenting its fans with
some of the nest models set to
make a lasting place in their hearts
and minds, he remarked.
At the Toyota Zones, visitors can
view the latest Toyota models like
the Hilux, Avalon, Land Cruiser, Corolla, Camry (at the Naseem Garden
venue) and the Yaris HB, RAV4, FJ
Cruiser (at the Al Amerat venue).
On being informed about Toyotas participation at this years
Muscat Festival, a Toyota customer remarked, My family already
knows this! They are impatiently
waiting to visit the Toyota zones!

Toyota invites all enthusiasts to

visit the Toyota zones at the Muscat Festival and enjoy a time unlike
any other at the Muscat festival
being held at the Al Amerat or Naseem Garden venues.
In Oman, Toyota is a household
name...a part of peoples lives. On
the one hand, Toyota offers enduring quality. On the other, nothing comes close to it in terms of
value-retention. It is no surprise;
therefore, that Toyota soars far
above the rest, with a dominant
market share and ever-expanding
customer base. The unmatched,
nationwide parts and service support of Saud Bahwan Group makes
Toyotas pride of place a reality.


FRiENDi mobile now offers

10% bonus credit on recharge
MUSCAT: FRiENDi mobile, the
Sultanates third biggest mobile
service provider, has come up
with yet another amazing offer.
Customers can now get up to an
incredible 10 per cent bonus credit on recharge, by just recharging
their phone as normal.
Until February 4, FRiENDi
mobile customers recharging for
OMR10 will get OMR1 bonus;
recharging OMR5 gives customers a 500 baisa bonus and nally
recharging OMR3 gives 150 baisa
bonus. The bonus credit is given
instantly and valid for seven days
from the day of recharge, says a
press release.
FRiENDi mobiles recharge
presence in over 7,000 outlets
across Oman provides customers
the exibility and convenience to
make the most of the offer. Physical recharge cards are available
from dealers and outlets, electronic vouchers are available at the
till of your local supermarket (e.g.
Carrefour, Lulu and Sultan Cen-

tre) or customers can also choose

to recharge online at using a credit or debit
card. Not only that, there is no limitation on the number of times a
customer can recharge and bonus
credit can be used for whatever the
customer wants e.g. data, local
calls or international calls.
We know that everyone is
tightening the belt in 2016, so for

a limited time FRiENDi mobile

is doing what it can to give a little
more to our loyal and new customers, for free. We have a fantastic
customer base and are welcoming
large volumes of customer to our
network every day who are already
excited about the great value prices we already offer, said Alex Bennett, CEO, FRiENDi mobile. Its a
super offer, valid for 11 days and we
are looking forward to seeing the
demand for recharge increase and
giving back to customers, rewarding them for their loyalty. So dont
miss out!
FRiENDi mobile offers have
made them a favourite amongst the
expat as well as the local community in Oman. With over 600,000
FRiENDi mobile customers and
numbers rising fast, FRiENDi mobile really is showing the results
of its vision to provide a great alternative choice to customers for
their mobile service provider and
great value to those with a piece of
their heart abroad.

Jawad Restaurant division

gears up for new challenges
MUSCAT: Meeting the challenges that 2016 poses for the region
was the focus of the annual Jawad
Business Group Restaurant Division conference held last month at
the Dragon Hotel, Amwaj Islands
in Bahrain, says a press release.
On the back of an exceptionally
successful 2015, Tapan Vaidya,
Restaurant Division general
manager urged the team not to
rest on their laurels stressing
the importance of being innovative and thinking out of the box
while bracing up for a tough year
ahead. With global oil prices falling sharply leading to signicant
revenue shortfalls in energy exporting nations, it is expected that
consumers will be spending less
and the repercussions will be felt
by all industries, and especially
the hospitality sector.
A much-anticipated annual
event, Forge Forward 2015 was
as much a celebration of the
Restaurant Divisions dazzling
performance during the year and
the high standards of excellence
maintained in all aspects of the

A much-anticipated annual event,

Forge Forward 2015 was as much a celebration of the
Restaurant Divisions dazzling performance during the
year and the high standards of excellence
maintained in all aspects of the business
business. The JBG Restaurant
division is the largest such business based in Bahrain, operating
116 restaurants in the GCC and
with dozens of new ones under
construction. Guests of honour,
Bernard Edmunds, non executive
director and R. Ramakrishnan,
group general manager congratulated employees for their success
and thanked them for their contribution and support to the company. Trophies were subsequently awarded to all top performers
in operations across the GCC.
The two-day meet was attended
by operating restaurant teams

from across the GCC. Restaurants

operated by the division include
many well known international
brands like Papa Johns Pizza,
Chilis, Romanos Macaroni Grill,
Outback and Jamies Italian, as
well as in-house concepts such
as Thai Express, Hakisushi and
Magic Wok.
From Oman, representatives of
Papa Johns Pizza and The Great
Kabab Factory attended this annual conference.
Supporting the team in the
challenges ahead, Vaidya outlined
a new programme of wellness in
all areas at work and outside.





Raonic shocks Wawrinka

as qualifier Zhang rolls on








Melbourne Park was

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

rocked by corruption
the rst qualier to reach the last
eight in Australia since Mexicos
Angelica Gavaldon in 1990.

allegations on its
opening day, and a
week later, integrity
fears returned as a
former Australian
professional player
pleaded guilty to
match-xing at

TRIUMPHANT: Milos Raonic celebrates after victory in his mens

singles match against Stanislas Wawrinka. AFP

a Sydney court

MELBOURNE: Milos Raonic

struck a blow for the next generation of mens tennis by ooring
former champion Stan Wawrinka
on Monday before Chinas Zhang
Shuai became the rst qualier to
reach the Australian Open quarternals in more than 20 years.
Second seed Andy Murray, returning to court two days after his
father-in-law was rushed to hospital, hit back for the old guard in
the evening session at Rod Laver
Arena though, banishing Bernard
Tomic, the last home hope in the
singles. Murrays win capped a
banner day for Britain following
Johanna Kontas advance, giving
the nation mens and womens singles quarter-nalists at the same
grand slam for the rst time in
nearly 40 years.
Melbourne Park was rocked by

corruption allegations on its opening day, and a week later, integrity

fears returned as a former Australian
professional player pleaded guilty to
match-xing at a Sydney court.
Former world number 187 Nick
Lindahl appeared in court just
hours after a top global bookmaker suspended betting after heavy
gambling on a mixed doubles
match at Melbourne Park.
There was no questioning the
commitment of Raonic and Wawrinka as the pair slugged out a threehour 44-minute thriller in the day
session on Rod Laver Arena.
Long seen as a threat to the Novak Djokovic-led establishment,
25-year-old Raonic showed ice
in his veins to fend off the 2014
champion 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3
after the 30-year-old Swiss roared
back from two sets down. Unveiling an aggressive serve-volley
game, Raonic red 82 winners
past the fourth seed to set up a

second successive quarternal at

Melbourne Park.
Having lost to Djokovic a year
ago, he will be favourite against
French showman Gael Monls
who delighted fans with some
spectacular dives as he beat Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5, 3-6,
6-3, 7-6(4) to reach the quarternals for the rst time.
Raonic is on an eight-match winning streak since the start of the
year, a run which included upsetting Roger Federer to win the Brisbane International, and he credits
new coach Carlos Moya for giving
him condence to stray from the
baseline. Chinese qualier Zhang,
on a fairytale run after snapping
her streak of 14 rst-round exits
at grand slams, overhauled a hobbling Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
in the days late match. The 133rdranked 27-year-old struggled to
put the ailing American down but
eventually celebrated becoming

Elated Zhang
I want to say bad luck to Madison
for her injury. But Im very lucky
today, an elated Zhang told the
crowd after tossing her racquet in
the air in jubilation. I think one
week ago people were thinking 15
times rst round and that I would
be going back to China.
After the stress of Nigel Sears
collapse at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday, Murray returned to the same
venue to ease past world number 17
Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4) and will battle hyper-t Spaniard David Ferrer
for a spot in the seminals.
Murrays Sydney-born compatriot Konta, granted British
citizenship in 2012, continued
her superb run, overhauling last
years seminalist Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 in a match
lasting three hours and four minutes. Those four minutes count!
Konta said.
Twice champion and 14th seed
Victoria Azarenka continued her
ominous advance, beating Czech
Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4.
Azarenka next plays German
seventh seed Angelique Kerber
who she thrashed in the Brisbane
International nal.
Kerber reached her rst Melbourne Park quarternal with a
6-4, 6-0 win over fellow German
Annika Beck. Eighth-seeeded Ferrer booked his sixth quarternal,
thrashing American John Isner
6-4, 6-4, 7-5. - Reuters

PROUD DAY: Oman Tennis Association organised a ceremony to

honour Omani players and teams who won laurels for the Sultanate during 2015. Fatma Al Nabhani is receiving her award from
OTA boss Motassim Al Zadjali. JUN ESTRADA / Times of Oman

2015 tennis stars

honoured by OTA
Sports Reporter
MUSCAT: The Oman Tennis
Association (OTA) organised
their Annual Awards Gala at
the Oman Olympic Committee
on Monday to honour the individual tennis players as well as
the national teams who did the
Sultanate proud at the regional
and international events during
year 2015.
During the impressive ceremony, association chief Mutassim Al
Zadjali handed over the awards
to the players in the presence of
OTA board members and staff as
well as the Ministry of Sports Affairs offiicials.
The OTA chief later said:
These annual awards presentations are a token of appreciation
for our players who did the country proud.
This is our way of encouraging the players to do well in the
future events. We hope there
will be a lot of achievements
to celebrate this year as well,
Mutassim added.



W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

The list of awardees:

Silver medalists at Islamic Games in
Indonesia: Fatma Al Nabhani, Sarah Al
Balushi and Samar Al Bakri.
GCC Womens Games in Muscat:
Team gold winners: Fatma Al Nabhani,
Sarah Al Balushi, Samar Al Bakri and Mariam Al Balushi. Womens singles gold winner: Fatma Al Nabhani, Womens singles
bronze winner: Sarah Al Balushi, Womens
doubles gold winners: Fatma Al Nabhani
and Sarah Al Balushi, Womens doubles
bronze winners: Maryam Al Balushi and
Samar Al Bakri.
GCC U-14 and U-18 tourney in Kuwait:
Bronze winner: Abdullah Al Barwani.
GCC U-16 team event in Qatar:
Bronze winners: Abdullah Al Barwani,
Younis Al Rawahi, Zakariya Al Suleimani
and Ammar Al Khanjari.
GCC U-14 team event in Saudi Arabia: Bronze winners: Muneer Al Rawahi,
Eyad Al Khanjari, Ali Al Sarhani and Abdullah Al Raisi.





Stay ahead of
the curve with

Kiwis skittle Pakistan


Pandya could be just the kind of

all-rounder India is looking for


Henry hit four

sixes and the same
number of fours in
his 30-ball 48 while
McClenaghan, who
was hit by an Anwar
Ali bouncer that went
through the gap in
his helmet, smashed
31 in 18 balls as New
Zealand scored 71 off
their last ve overs


pacemen Trent Boult and Grant
Elliott shared seven wickets as the
hosts bundled out Pakistan for 210
to win the rst One-day International at the pacy Basin Reserve by
70 runs on Monday.
Elliott did the early damage
while Boult, the worlds topranked ODI bowler, ran through
Pakistans lower order as the touring side were shot out in 46 overs,
chasing a target of 281 in the rst
of the three-match series.
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and
Ahmed Shehzad fell early to Elliott but Mohammad Hafeez (42)
and Babar Azam (62) added 81 for
the third wicket to put them back
on course.
A mid-innings collapse, however, saw Pakistan lose their last
seven wickets for 68 runs despite
New Zealand being a bowler short

BAD BLOW: Mitchell McClenaghan of New Zealand falls to the

ground after being hit by the ball above the eye during the rst
One-day International at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. AFP



W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

in the absence of Mitchell McClenaghan, who suffered a blow

to his eye while batting and was
forced to retire hurt.
New Zealand, put in to bat, were
reduced to 99-6 in the 23rd over
before man-of-the-match Henry Nicolls rescued them with a
knock of 82.
The left-hander, playing only his
sixth ODI, added 79 for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Santner
(48) before Matt Henry and McClenaghan launched a late assault
to power New Zealand to 280-6 in
their 50 overs.
Henry hit four sixes and the

same number of fours in his 30ball 48 while McClenaghan, who

was hit by an Anwar Ali bouncer
that went through the gap in his
helmet, smashed 31 in 18 balls as
New Zealand scored 71 off their
last ve overs.
The left-arm fast bowler suffered a small fracture above his
left eye and will undergo a minor
surgery on Friday, local media
quoted a Black Caps spokesperson
as saying.
The injury is likely to keep the
29-year-old out of the remaining
matches against Pakistan.
Thanks for all the concerns.
Everything is as good as it can be
just a few broken bones. Great win
for the boys! McClenaghan tweeted with a picture showing heavy
bruising around his left eye.
Mohammed Amir was the most
successful Pakistan bowler with

M. Guptill c Riaz b Irfan
T. Latham c S. Ahmed b Amir
K. Williamson b Anwar Ali
H. Nicholls b Anwar Ali
G. Elliott b Anwar Ali
C. Anderson c S. Ahmed b Amir
L. Ronchi c S. Ahmed b Amir
M. Santner c S. Ahmed b Irfan
M. Henry not out
M. McClenaghan rtd hurt
T. Boult not out
Extras (b-4 lb-3 w-13)
Total (for 8 wickets, 50 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-25, 3-70, 4-70,
5-93, 6-99, 7-178, 8-203
Bowling: M. Irfan 10-0-43-2 (w-1), M.
Amir 8.1-0-28-3 (w-3), Anwar Ali 9.5-0-663 (w-3), W. Riaz 10-0-67-0 (w-3), I. Wasim
8-0-47-0 (w-2), Azhar Ali 4-0-22-0 (w-1)
Azhar Ali c Nicholls b Elliott
A. Shehzad c Williamson b Elliott
M. Hafeez c Nicholls b Williamson
B. Azam c Nicholls b Anderson
S. Maqsood c sub b Elliott
S. Ahmed c Anderson b Boult
I. Wasim c Ronchi b Santner
Anwar Ali c Latham b Boult
W. Riaz not out
M. Amir b Boult
M. Irfan b Boult
Extras (lb-2, w-10)
Total (all out, 46 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-37, 3-118, 4-142,
5-168, 6-170, 7-205, 8-206, 9-210, 10-210
Bowling: M. Henry 8-0-43-0 (w-4), T.
Boult 9-1-40-4 (w-3), G. Elliott 10-1-43-3
(w-2), C. Anderson 9-1-35-1 (w-1), M.
Santner 8-0-36-1, K. Williamson 2-0-11-1
Umpires: Nigel Llong and Derek Walker
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford
Match referee: David Boon

3-28 but had to leave the eld injured after bowling the rst delivery of his ninth over. Anwar
took 3-66.
The second match of the series will be played in Napier on
Thursday. - Reuters

ith the impressive win in the nal one-day game

under their belt the Indian
team will no doubt be high
on condence as they take
on the hosts in the three
match T20 series. Indias
Republic Day and Australia
Day matches are invariably played at the beautiful
Adelaide Oval.
The pitch there is one of
the best for batting while it
also helps the ball to turn a
bit. The straight boundaries
are quite long despite the
ropes being pulled in to accommodate the six hitters
but the square boundaries
are the spinners nightmare
and horizontal shot
makers delight.
The Indians and most
Australian players play the
most number of the T20
matches in the world and
so there is no shortage of
Both teams have players
who can change the situation of the game in a jiffy
and there wont be a moment to relax.
India have brought back
Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra
and Harbhajan Singh and
they will have a big role
to play.
Nehra has not lost much
in pace and his mix of
bouncers and yorkers is so
cleverly done that it has
been hard for the batsmen
to get after him.
Harbhajan too is bowling
quite superbly in this format where his variation in
the line that he bowls more
than the length is what is
stumping batsmen. Both
these experienced cam-

paigners will be expected to

keep the lid on the Australian scoring.
However the most looked
forward to return in Indias
colours is that of Yuvraj
Singh. He seems to relish
this format more than the
others and if he gets going
then the spectators better
put on their helmets for the
ball is going to keep nding
them. His innocuous looking left arm spin often picks
wickets and gives Dhoni
more exibility in rotating
his bowlers.
The other exciting
player is Hardik Pandya.
He is among the numerous
players from Gujarat now
making it to the Indian
team. Gujarat is fanatical
about cricket and its always
been a wonder why it has
not regularly produced
international cricketers.
That is changing now as
the game is seen as a serious career option and so
the likes of Jadeja, Pujara,
Bumrah, Pandya, Patel are
deservedly getting India
caps with players like the
Pathan brothers, Parthiv
Patel also waiting for
their chance.
Pandya is just the kind
of all rounder that India is
looking for and if he keeps
making the kind of progress
he is doing then India will
have another game changer
in its ranks. - PMG


Team India aim revival in Twenty20Is against Australia

ADELAIDE: Outplayed in the
ODIs, a faltering India will look
to get the balance right as they
eye redemption in a three-match
Twenty20 series against Australia
starting here on Tuesday which
also kicks off their build-up for
the World T20 Championships
in March-April. The Indian team

was comprehensively beaten in

the ODIs, losing the series 1-4 and
the T20Is would be an opportunity
for the side to pick some positivity
from the so far disappointing tour.
Both teams will also begin their
run-in for the ICC tournament,
particularly the Men in Blue who
only have T20Is lined up before

the big tournament begins.

The Indian team doesnt really
play too many T20I matches.
Since the addition of the format to the international schedule
in 2006, they have only played 57
games, with 28 of them across ve
World T20 events in 2007, 2009,
2010, 2012 and 2014. As such, since

December 2006, when the Men in

Blue rst played a T20I against
South Africa, they have only featured in 29 bilateral matches.
And their record outside the
World T20 isnt particularly impressive, with 15 losses and 14
wins. These records wont really
play heavily on the Indian team

management as they prepare for

this T20I series, but the conditions
here denitely will.
The just-concluded Big Bash
League has been a high scoring encounter, much like the ODI series
in the rst leg of this trip, and the
pitches are expected to be at and
have ample bounce for the batsmen

to make merry. The difference in

conditions from the World T20 in
India wont really allow either side
to judge their spin options, but they
will be busy evaluating different
permutations and combinations.
For India, it will be about getting
their team balance right, in particular their strength, batting. - PTI


Rabada strikes as Proteas scent victory

PRETORIA: Firebrand fast
bowler Kagiso Rabada bagged
two wickets as South Africa reduced England to 52 for three at
the close of day four of the nal
Test on Monday.
The tourists, who have already
won the series, need a further 330
for what would be a record-breaking victory on the nal day but
must do so on a wicket showing
variable bounce and prodigious
turn at Centurion Park.
Englands hopes of an unlikely
victory or survival will rest on
Joe Root (19 not out) who is at the
crease with James Taylor (19 not
out) after Rabada gave the hosts
the perfect start. The 20-year-old
forced another failure from opener Alex Hales who was trapped
lbw for one by a ball that kept low
and jagged into him.
Rabada claimed his ninth wicket of the match when he had Nick
Compton (six) caught behind,
the England batsman unsuccessfully reviewing what seemed an
obvious edge. With a tense nal
day likely, England will hope that
wasted review does not come
back to haunt them.





South Africa 1st innings: 475

England 1st innings: 342
South Africa 2nd innings:
S. Cook c Bairstow b Anderson
D. Elgar c Bairstow b Anderson
H. Amla c Bairstow b Broad
A. de Villiers lbw b Anderson
J. Duminy c Bairstow b Stokes
T. Bavuma not out
Q. de Kock not out
Extras (b-2, lb-5, w-3)
Total (for 5 wickets, 83.2 overs) 248
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-49, 3-49, 4-106, 5-223
Bowling: J. Anderson 18-5-47-3, S.
Broad 15-4-33-1 (w-1), B. Stokes 16-436-1, C. Woakes 13.2-0-53-0 (w-2), M. Ali
17-3-60-0, J. Root 4-0-12-0
England 2nd innings:
A. Cook c & b M. Morkel
A. Hales lbw b Rabada
N. Compton c de Kock b Rabada
J. Root not out
J. Taylor not out
Extras (lb-2)
Total (for 3 wickets, 21 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-8, 3-18
Bowling: M. Morkel 6-4-12-1, K. Rabada
6-2-15-2, K. Abbott 1-0-6-0, D. Piedt 5-27-0, D. Elgar 2-1-8-0, J. Duminy 1-0-2-0

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

In between, Morne Morkel

grabbed the prize scalp of England captain Alastair Cook (ve)
with a brilliant one-handed
caught and bowled to leave the
latter still 36 runs short of 10,000
test runs after a poor series.
South Africa should have celebrated the wicket of Root as
well, but wicketkeeper Quinton
de Kock failed to take the ball after spinner Dane Piedt had drawn
the batsman from his crease and
beaten the edge. South Africa earlier declared their second innings
on 248 for ve.
Hashim Amla fell four short
of a second century in the match
when he uncharacteristically
ashed wildly at a wide deliver
from Stuart Broad in the pursuit
of quick runs.
Amla added 117 for the fth
wicket with Temba Bavuma (78
not out), who showed great application and maturity. Reuters



Shihab reigns supreme in Dubai


Shihab Al Habsi

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N .C O M

won the Mini Max

title while Sanad
Al Rawahi took top
honours in DD2 at
the Dubai O-Plate

Sports Reporter
MUSCAT: Rising Omani talent Shihab Al Habsi emerged the
champion in the Mini Max category while young Sanad Al Rawahi
took the top honours in the DD2
Class at the 2016 Dubai O-Plate
championship at the Dubai Kartdrome during the last weekend.
Shihab Al Habsi, who is being
groomed by Omani motorsport
legend Hamed Al Wahaibi, raced
like a champion to win a thrilling

SPLENDID DISPLAY: Omans Shihab Al Habsi, centre, celebrates on the podium after winning the Mini
Max title at the 2016 Dubai O-Plate championship at the Dubai Kartdrome. Supplied photo

race and triumph in the Mini Max

division which saw 12 drivers vying for the top honours.
In the four heats, it looked like Al
Wahaibi Motorsport (WMS) racer
was learning the ropes as he found
it difficult to stay ahead of his competitors. However, in the pre-nal
and the nal it was a different story
as the young Omani showed his

true mettle to emerge the winner.

The nal was a thrilling affair in
which Shihab managed to pip Hamda Al Qubaisi by a quarter of a second for a richly deserved title. While
Hamda had to settle for second
place, Liam Crystal took third place.
High hopes
Speaking about Shihabs success,

his father Ahmed said: Its denitely a great performance by Shihab, especially when you consider
how he started in the heats.
Its a new championship for
him and its a different category
too. The rules are new to him. So
he didnt excel in the heats. But in
the pre-nal and nal he did great.
In both races, he started in the


third place and nally nished on

top, a delighted Ahmed added.
Describing the competition as
a really tough one, Ahmed said:
There were competitors from the
UK, the USA as well as South Africa. I am glad he came through and
won the top honours.
While thanking WMS and
Hamed Al Wahaibi for all the support, Ahmed said: Hamed (Al Wahaibi) has high hopes on Shihab. He
thinks very highly about him and
his talent. He has big plans for him.
The boy is very talented and
he is very passionate too. But to
achieve the goals, we need more
backing and more sponsors..
Abdul Wahab third
In the Bambino Class, Abdul Wahab Al Habsi clinched the third
place. Rashid Al Dhaheri won the
top honours with Harry Hannam
taking the second.
In Micro Max Class, Mohammed Al Habsi gave his best but had

to settle for sixth place. The event

was won Nadim Khneisser ahead
of Marcus Amand and Maxwell
Dodds. Diaraf Keinde and Finn
Farrell-Morton nished in fourth
and fth respectively.
Sanads super show
Meanwhile, Sanad Al Rawahi
came up with a superb show in the
DD2 Class to clinch the top honours. Kevin Day nished in second
place and Anthony Hogg settled
for the third place.
Sanads brother Abdullah Al
Rawahi, taking part in the premier
Max Class, gave his best while battling for top places with Fraser
Rose and Pasqual Pook. However,
after a thrilling contest, the Omani
racer had to settle for the fourth
place with Rose taking the top
place and the Dubai O-Plate title.
Pook nished second while Jakob
Robinson won the third place.
In the Junior Max category,
Khalid Al Wahaibi, Omans another upcoming talent, had to settle for fourth place after a similar
thrilling contest.
Tehmur Chohan won the top
honours ahead of Taymour Kermanshahchi and Lucas Petersson.


Republic Day of India hockey fest a grand success

MUSCAT: Team Coorg Muscat

and Ambassadors XI emerged
winners as Republic Day of India Hockey Festival, organised by
Team Coorg Muscat and Friends
of Naqvi Group, proved a grand
success at the Sultan Qaboos
Sports Complex last Friday.
The Festival was organised under the patronage of
Indian Embassy and in coordination with Oman Hockey
Association (OHA).
Indian Ambassador Indramani
Pandey presided over the event.

Sheikh Mahfoodh bin Ali Juma Al

Juma, Chairman of Oman Hockey
Association (OHA), Oman Cricket Board head Kanak Khimji were
the guests of honour.
Aftab Patel, CEO of Al Omaniya
Financial Services, and Nagesh
Kelkar, Principal of Indian School
Al Seeb (ISAS), also graced the occasion. During the Festival, the organisers hosted two competitions
one for the Republic Day Cup and
the other for Ambassadors Cup.
In the rst match of the Republic Day Cup, UTSC defeated

Beatrice XI 1-0. The winners of

that match took on Team Coorg
Muscat, who were given a rst
round bye, for the title. Team Coorg managed to get the better of
UTSC to lift the trophy. In the
Ambassadors Cup, the Ambassadors XI edged Indian School Al
Seeb to clinch the crown.
Special celebrations
The ninth edition of the Festival
also saw a special ceremony to celebrate the recent presentation of
Asian Hockey Federation (AHF)

Lifetime Achievement Award to

to SAS Naqvi. During the ceremony, the organisers honoured OHA
General Secretary Mohammed
Redha Taqi Al Lawati, Technical
Advisor Mohie Saad Al Zaghlool,
Organising Committee member
D.R. Bijlani, First Secretary and
Head of Chancery at Embassy of
India Amraram Gujjar, Organising Committee coordinator Osama Rawat. Threee Omani hockey
officials Abdul Rahman Al Raisi,
Mustafa and Hamood Al Wahaibi
were also honoured.


Five Muscat teams in Volkswagen Oman qualiers

MUSCAT: Volkswagen, represented in Oman by Wattayah Motors, announced the conclusion
of Muscat Qualiers of the 2016
Volkswagen Junior Masters Oman
Under-13 Football Tournament.
The qualiers saw ve teams
Al Woshil, Al Jazeera, Muscat
Grass Roots, Muscat Football
Academy and Professional
make their way to the nal Oman
qualiers which will take place on
February 13 in Muscat.
The Muscat qualiers was
split into three groups A, B and
C; with four teams each.The top
two teams from Group A, Al Woshil and Al Jazeera, together with
the top two teams from Group B,
Muscat Grass Roots and Muscat
Football Academy, made their way
to the nal of the Oman qualiers.
Securing the nal spot and joining the other seven teams in the

Oman Qualiers wer the winners

of Group C Professional.
Commenting on the tournament, Andrew Squires, the General Manager of Wattayah Motors
said, On behalf of Volkswagen
and Wattayah Motors I would
like to congratulate the ve teams
from Muscat on making it to the
nal Oman qualiers and wish
them the very best of luck in the
upcoming Volkswagen Junior
Masters Oman Qualiers.
We have witnessed an incred-

M AT C H - F I X I N G

South Africas Bodi

banned for 20 years
PRETORIA: Former South Africa international Gulam Bodi
has been banned from all cricket-related activities for 20 years
after admitting he attempted to
x matches in the countrys domestic Twenty20 competition
this season.
Cricket South Africa (CSA)
announced the punishment on
Monday following an investigation conducted by the organisations Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. Five years have been
suspended on condition that Bodi
is not found guilty of a similar offence and that he participates in
corruption-related player education programmes.
Our attitude to corruption will
always be one of zero tolerance,

CSA chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat told a news conference. There is no doubt that Mr
Bodis actions have threatened
the integrity and image of the
game that we love and he must be
handed a strong punishment. We
have had many discussions with
Mr Bodi and he accepts the folly
of his actions. We are fortunate in
this instance that several players
rejected his approaches.
Cricket has been hit by several
separate incidents of match-xing in recent years.
Bodi, who was born in India
and moved to South Africa as a
teenager, played two One-day Internationals and one Twenty20
match for the national side in
2007. - Reuters

ible show of skill, sportsmanship

and team work from each of the
teams that participated in the qualiers this year, both from Sohar and
Muscat. With such a high calibre
of talent on the eld, topping the
Oman Qualiers is no doubt going
to be a challenge for each of the participating teams, he added.
Following the Muscat regional
qualiers, the eight qualifying
teams, including the three from
Sohar, are now gearing up for the
Oman Regional Qualiers on Feb-

ruary 13. The top two teams from

the Oman Qualiers will then join
those from Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai
and Abu Dhabi in the Volkswagen
Junior Masters Middle East 2016
Tournament, which will be held in
Dubai on March 4 and 5, 2016. The
winner of the nals will then be
crowned Volkswagen Junior Masters Middle East Champions. The
winners of the Middle East nals
will then head to Paris in May 2016
to represent the region at the Volkswagen World Junior Masters.

DRAW: OFA board member Mohammed Al Shahi, right, presides

over His Majestys Cup Football Championship last eight draw at
the Seeb Sports Stadium on Monday. ISMAIL AL FARSI/Times of Oman

Fanja take on Al Nasr in

HMs Cup quarternals
MUSCAT: Fanja, who are looking for their perfect 10th title, will
clash with Al Nasr in the quarternals of His Majestys Cup Football
Fanja, the record title winners,
were drawn to play four-time
champions Al Nasr in the double
leg quarternals when the Oman
Football Association (OFA) conducted the draw for the last eight
stage at the association headquarters on Monday. The rst leg
matches will be played on February
15 and 16 with the return leg ties
scheduled for February 27 and 28.

Meanwhile, Suwaiq, who won

the last of their two titles in 2013,
are drawn to play Al Khabourah.
The other match-up will see
Muscat taking on Saham, both of
whom won a title each, the former
way back in 2003 and the latter in
2010. Surprise package Rustaq,
a First Division team, will tackle
Salalah, a team currently languishing at the bottom of the Omantel
Professional League table.
Quarternal match-ups: Fanja
vs Al Nasr, Suwaiq vs Al Khabourah, Muscat vs Saham and
Rustaq vs Salalah.




Assarain record 31-run victory over Sinha CT

MUSCAT: The Muscat Pharmacy
and Stores sponsored Premier
Division T20 match between the
Sinha and Assarain took place at
the Ministry of Sports Affairs saw
the latter prevailing by 31 runs.
Batting rst, Assarain put on
148 for 8 in 20 overs. Arun Poulose
and Arif Hussain top scored with
39 and 38 respectively. Niluka
and Nalinda claimed two wickets
each for Sinha. In response, Sinha
were restricted to 117 for 7 in 20
overs, enabling Assarain to claim
the bonus point. Zeeshan, Arif and
Ahmed claimed a two-wicket haul
for Assarain.
Brief scores: Assarain 148 for 8
in 20 overs (Arun Poulose 39, Niluka
2 for 22) beat Sinha CT 117 for 7 in 20
overs (Ahmed Raza 2 for 14). Points:
Assarain 3 (BP); Sinha CT 0.

Passage to India win

The Muscat Pharmacy and Stores
sponsored Premier Division 50over match between Al Turki and
Passage to India saw the latter
winning by a whopping 140 runs.
Batting rst, Passage to India
put on 226 all out in 49.3 overs.
Aamir Ali and Zulqarnain Haider
top scored with 75 and 55 respec-

Victory for BOC A

In another U-13 match, BOC A beat
MCCC by 4 wickets. Batting rst,
MCCC C scored 113 for 5 of 20
overs. Kamlesh Reddy top scored
with 58 not out. Gautam claimed 2
wickets for BOC A.
In response, BOC A scored 114/6
in 14.2 overs to enable them to seal
the bonus point.
Rajan top scored with 52 for BOC
A. Jaimeet and Pranav claimed 2
wickets each for MCCC C.

ASSARAIN HEROES: Arif Hussain, left, and Arun Poulose.

PTI STARS: Zulqarnain Haider, Mohammed Bilal, Bilal Khan, Aamir Ali.

tively. Rohit Malik claimed four

wickets for Al Turki. In response,
Al Turki were bowled out for 86 in
23.1 overs, thus enabling Passage
to India to claim the bonus point.
Bilal Khan and Mohammed Bilal
claimed ve and four wickets each
respectively. Zulqarnain was the
man of the match with ve catches
in addition to his half century.

response, MCCC A scored 118 for

4 in 20 overs. Arhaan top scored
with 47, to enable ISG to claim the
bonus point.

Brief scores: Passage to India

226 all out in 49.3 overs (Aamir Ali 75,
Zulqarnain Haider 55, Rohit Malik 4

for 47) beat Al Turki 86 all out in 23.1

overs (Shivpasinh 47, Bilal Khan 5 for
34, Mohammed Bilal 4 for 34). Points:
Passage to India 3 (BP) ; Al Turki 0.


The U-13 Junior League match
between MCCC A and ISG at the
Municipality 2 ground saw ISG
winning by 63 runs.
Batting rst, ISG scored 181 for
1 of 20 overs. Piyush and Sahih top
scored with 104 and 61 not out. In

Brief scores: ISG 181 for 1 in

20 overs (Piyush 104, Sahih 61 not
out) beat MCCC A 118 for 4 in 20
overs (Arhaan 47). Points: ISG 3
(BP) ; MCCC A 0.

ISM B win
Another U-13 Junior League
match saw ISM B beat MCCC B by

53 runs. Batting rst, ISM B scored

199 for 1 of 20 overs. Pariket and
Vraj top scored with 84 and 77
not out respectively. In response,
MCCC B scored 146 for 4 in 20
overs. Ashar top scored with 37.
Sidharth claimed two scalps for
ISM B to enable their bonus point.
Brief scores: ISM B 199 for 1 in 20
overs (Pariket 84, Vraj 77 not out) beat
MCCC B 146 for 4 in 20 overs (Ashar
37, Sidharth 2 for 25). Points: ISM B 3
(BP) ; MCCC B 0.

Brief scores: MCCC A 113 for 5

in 20 overs (Kamlesh 58 not out, Gautam 2 for 23) lost to BOC A 114 for 6 in
14.2 overs (Rajan 52, Jaimeet 2 for 12).
Points: BOC A 3 (BP); MCCC A 0.

GCC lose
GCC lost to SLSM by 22 runs in
another U-13 match at the Municipality ground.
Batting rst, SLSM scored 169
for 4 of 20 overs. Devin Geemeth
top scored with 46.
In response, GCC scored 147 for
4 in 20 overs. Rayyan top scored
with 52 in vain.
Brief scores: SLSM 169 for 4 in
20 overs (Devin Geemeth 46) beat
GCC 147 for 4 in 20 overs (Rayyan 52).
Points: SLSM 2; GCC 0.


Zain train ahead of SATT

MUSCAT: The Zain sailing team,
who created a sensation in 2015 by
winning one leg and coming third
overall in their rst ever Sailing
Arabia The Tour (SATT), were
overwhelmed with crew applications for the 2016 edition kicking
off next month, requiring them to
run two extensive training and selection trials at Oman Sails sailing
centre in Mussanah, Oman. Along
with global technology provider
Huawei and global law rm Clifford
Chance, the Zain sailing team is set
to start the challenge officially in
Dubai on February 16.
The mobile operators rst venture into Sailing Arabia The
Tour last year was designed primarily as a team building exercise
bringing together colleagues from
across the region, but with fun
one of the most important goals.
As they made their way round
the course the team comprising
mainly of staff from telecoms giant Zain Group eight operations,
that included the participation of

its Vice-Chairman and global and

Kuwaiti business identity Bader
Al-Khara, saw the support from
the 7,000 strong workforce around
the region snowball and when
they managed to achieve a podium
place at their rst attempt, coming
third, the team were catapulted
into the spotlight.
Initially, no one in Zain really
understood what efforts and resources were required in sailing
was, but once my colleagues and
our sponsors Huawei and Clifford Chance could see what was
involved, combined with our success, it started to generate a lot of
interest. We were all blown away
by it it has generated a huge
amount of buzz and corporate
goodwill, explained Mike Miller,
sailing team manager and Group
Executive Director at Zain Kuwait-based office.
This buzz had a direct effect
on their plans for 2016 so when
a message was sent out inviting
applications to join the Zain sail-

ing team for Sailing Arabia The

Tour, they received 125 candidate
replies, compared to just eight the
previous year. These were then
whittled down to 25 candidates
from Kuwait, Saudi, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon who were taken
to Mussanah for an intensive week
of training and preparation, some
of them stepping on the boat for
the rst time.
They went through an introductory training aboard the Farr 30s
with two certied instructors from
Oman Sail per boat. By the end of
the rst afternoon, everyone had
learned all the basics, tacking and
gybing and the following morning,
in some choppy conditions, the
spinnakers went up and the candidates were put to the test.
Thereafter, based on this rst
week of training, a core 10 member team was selected who then
attended another training session over the weekend of January 22-23, with the nal crew of
seven selected.

Omanis impress
in Al Mussanah
Performance levels in the Optimist class
were markedly higher than in previous
years with one of the favourites Lucas
Vidella from Argentina sweeping
to a resounding overall victory

MUSCAT: Omans best young

sailors found themselves under
pressure at the 2016 edition of
Mussanah Race Week, organised
by Oman Sail, but stepped up to
the plate to conrm a strong allround improvement against the
best talents in the world.
According to observers, performance levels in the Optimist
class were markedly higher than
in previous years with one of the
favourites Lucas Vidella from Argentina sweeping to a resounding
overall victory with a dominant
display and Daniel Ian Toh from
Singapore, last years Mussanah
champion, in second place.
Al Moatsem Al Farsi, who won
the best Under-12 prize in 2015
was Omans best performing Optimist sailor with a clutch of top
10 nishes from the gold eet
qualiers and nals, to achieve
21st out of a eld of 105 young
sailors, many of whom were
champions in their own countries
and regions.

Four other Omani youngsters,

including girls champion Samiha
Al Riyami, were happy to nish in the top half of the eet
while another 23 sailors, drawn
from Oman Sails sailing schools
around the Sultanate and sampling international competition
for the rst time, contributed to
Omans set of promising results.
Former Optimist national
champion Zakariya Al Wahabi
showed his move up into the
Laser 4.7 class had posed few
problems when he pulled off four
straight wins from 12 races to
become champion, fending off
challenges from a strong Finnish
contingent with Marwan Al Jafri
coming fth.
There was also an Omani winner in the Laser Radial class
where Hussain Al Jabri proved
the most consistent performer of
18 contenders, including four representatives from the Sultanate.
There was a very high level of
racing in the Optimist class and

many competitors who were competing at Mussanah Race Week

for the second time said they
thought it was harder in 2016,
said Oman Sail Youth Manager,
Mohsin Al Busaidi, the rst Arab
to sail round the world non-stop.
It was a very worthwhile experience for the Omani kids because
they were exposed to a level of competition that they might only come
across at a world championships
so they learned a great deal. We
had wonderful conditions all week
with 25 degree heat and between 8
and 15 knots of breeze so it was very
successful. The Laser eet was not
as competitive as the Optimists but
it was still a challenge for the Omani kids and they did well.
Most of them had raced Optimists so it was useful for them to
experience the next rung on the
ladder. We were very happy with
the numbers of overseas sailors
and many said they would be back
next year which is encouraging,
Al Busaidi added.
The Mussanah Race Week
came to a nal showdown under
the patronage of His Excellency
Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Balushi, Majlis Al Shura Representative in Mussanah.
This year, Mussanah Race
Week featured two additional
sailing classes, the Laser Radial
and Laser 4.7, for the rst time
since 2011, with some of the
worlds best young sailors coming
to enjoy ideal sailing conditions
combined with some intensive







Some nights call for a supper of fun-to-eat foods that are no-fuss to make.








While there are many ways to make egg puffs, this

recipe is quick, easy, and perfect for impromptu

Shami kebabs are very popular kebabs

from the Indian subcontinent. Absolutely melt in
the mouth tender, with a beautiful balance of spices
and avour, you won't believe how fast you can get them on
the table.

Baked potatoes are a healthy alternative to French

fries, and with this recipe, they are just as decadent.
Serve them as a side dish alongside grilled chicken
or steak.

6 puff pastry sheets (readymade)
1tsp butter
2 boiled eggs
6 tbsp of grated cheddar cheese
or mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
or mayonnaise
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Take one pastry square sheet and grease it
with little butter.
Take the boiled eggs and gently cut them
into tiny pieces.
Mix the eggs with the mozzarella and 1tbsp of
tomato ketchup (optional) or mayonnaise
in a mixing bowl.
Now stuff this mixture into
the pastry sheet and close
them forming a triangle.
Repeat this for all the six pastry sheets.
Now place these stuffed triangle pastry sheets
in the preheated oven and bake them at
180 C for 20 minutes.
Make sure that that they are not over done, so
keep checking on them.
The moment they are golden, turn off the oven
and serve hot
with sauce of your choice.

3tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp caraway seed (shahi jeera) powder
1/2 inch pinch, chopped ginger
2 cloves, garlic chopped
2 dried red chillies broken
250g mutton mince (keema)
1tbsp split Bengal gram (chana dal) soaked for 1/2 hour
Salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup deep fried onions
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
Heat 2tbsp ghee in a non-stick pan. Add caraway seeds,
ginger, garlic, red chillies, minced meat, and drained
chana dal. Mix well and saut for 2 minutes.
Add salt and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat
till the moisture dries up and the dal is cooked. Add mint
leaves, coriander leaves, and fried onion and mix well.
Break the egg in a bowl and whisk it well.
Add lemon juice and grind to a coarse paste. Heat the
remaining ghee on a non-stick pan.
Divide mutton mixture into 8 equal portions and shape
them into at kebabs.
Dip each kebab in whisked egg and place it on the pan.
Shallow-fry, turning the side once, for 3-4 minutes or till both
the sides are evenly cooked. Serve hot with mint chutney.

4 medium potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, sliced into rings
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose our
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 tomato slices
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Butter a 1 quarter of a casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 of the sliced potatoes into the bottom of
the prepared casserole dish. Top with onion
slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season
with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over
medium heat. Mix in the our and salt, and stir
constantly with a whisk for one minute.
Stir in milk.
Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese
all at once, and continue stirring until it melts for
about 30 to 60 seconds.
Pour cheese over the potatoes, top with tomato
slices and sprinkle some parsley as a garnish.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.
Serve hot.

Oneza Tabish is a nancial analyst and banker by profession. A lifelong hobby and passion for cooking inspired her to create the Facebook
page 'Whats Cooking Oman', which has grown into a community of more than 6,000 members who share simple, yet unique recipes.






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January 26, 2011









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Story Swati Dasgupta

t was just an overnight stopover at Frankfurt and also

my rst day in Germany.
A long evening stroll in
the beautifully structured
city left me famished and I peeped
into a small roadside eatery, still
unable to gure out what would
be ideal for a quick bite. It was
then that my eyes fell on the tray
stacked with doughnuts.
Can I have two doughnuts
please? I took out ve euros and
asked the man behind the counter.
He gave a confused look and politely enquired, You want what?
Doughnut, I emphasised and
pointed towards the tray. You
mean kreppel, he said and slipped
them in the packet while handing
it over with a grin. I smiled back
too, much in awe in the land of
kreppels. Immensely intrigued by
the newly learnt name of doughnuts, I went back to the hotel

and gave a quick Google search

to know more about its other
names. And in a click information
poured in. If you are in Germany,
call it kreppel when in Frankfurt,
krapfen in the South, a Berliner in
West Germany, and pfannkuchen
if you are in proper Berlin. Russians call it pishki, and in Rome
they call it globi.
There were few more names in
the list that I didnt read. Sugardusted and lled with plum jelly, or
with chocolate, lemon, and vanilla,
variations on these ring shaped
fried desserts with holes in their
centres, even included toppings.
It was becoming clear to me that
no matter what it was called, the
sweet made out of yeasted dough,
deep-fried, and at times stuffed,
was universal in its appeal.
Thus began my journey into
the delicious world of doughnuts. While the base of dough-

nuts remain the same almost

everywhere, they are made with
different llings like creams, butter and fruit jams, and nuts and
either frosted or dussted in powdered sugar. Pishki, the traditional doughnut in Russia, is fried in
lots of butter, and sprinkled with
icing sugar. It is mostly eaten
piping hot. The Berliner, on the
other hand is made from sweet
yeast dough and can be round and
oblong and lled with plum or
strawberry jam. The speciality of
Berliners is that most often they
are glazed in sugar syrup.
While doughnuts are a hot favourite in Germany and other European countries some theories
state that they were invented in
North America by Dutch settlers.
It is also theorized that Hanson
Gregory, an American, invented
doughnuts way back in 1847 and
the hole in the centre of the dough


Dubai Restaurant Week Sets

Fine-Dining Scene Alight
Dubai Food Festival unveils the
Dubai Restaurant Week menus
from 30 of the citys best restaurants. Thirty of the citys most
sought after restaurants have unveiled bespoke three-course set
menus at the exceptional price of
AED 189 for the inaugural Dubai
Restaurant Week, which debuts
over 10 days from 25 February 5
March during the Dubai Food Festival. Reinforcing Dubais emergence as a gastronomic destination, Dubai Restaurant Week will
offer an exciting insight into the
worldwide palate Dubai caters to.
Anticipated to be a sell-out event,
residents and foodies will enjoy
an exclusive opportunity to sample the top restaurants on their
must-visit list. With something to
suit all tastes, Dubai Restaurant
Week is ideal whether you are
dining with family, friends and
loved ones.
The star-studded restaurant
line-up includes favourites run
by international and Michelinstarred chefs including Gordon

Ramsay (Bread Street Kitchen),

Atul Kochhar (Rang Mahal),
Heinz Beck (Social), Vineet Bhatia (Ashiana) and Alfredo Russo
(Vivaldi). Each offering a unique
dining experience, guests will be
spoilt for choice with menu highlights including: Hawaiian tuna
tartar with avocado and truffle
juice at Atelier M; Sea bass crudo with charred avocado, amori
black garlic and corn chips at Sea
Fu; Home smoked salmon tikka
at Ashiana by Vineet; hot smoked

Norwegian salmon, teriyaki sauce

and pickled cucumber at Fum
and Quail two ways with braised
lentils and seasonal wild mushrooms at The Ivy. Restaurants
participating in Dubai Restaurant
Week are among the best in the
city and we cant wait for guests
to try the delectable menus they
have curated specially for Dubai
Food Festival, said Laila Suhail,
CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail

was actually his brainchild. No

matter their origins, the sweet
dough has now traversed the
world. Here in Muscat, you can
grab this sweet treat in several eateries and cafes. While the American franchise Dunkin Donuts have
many outlets, for speciality doughnuts, try the treats at the Candadian chain, Tim Hortons, located at
Muscat Grand Mall, or try homemade versions at Reexions Caf
in Qurum.
If you are a true doughnut fan,
then why not make them at home?
The baked version is an ideal option for those who are calorie conscious. All you need to do is to bake
the dough at 200 degree C for ten
minutes instead of frying. Or go for
the classic, melt-in-your-mouth,
sugar dusted fried confection.
Eitherway, your home will smell
amazing long after you eat them.

Going Doughnuts
zDunkin Donuts
City Centre, Muscat
+968 2481 3768.
zTim Hortons
Muscat Grand Mall
+968 2470 1438
Bakery & Sweets
Bait Mulhim Al Safah
Street, near Chedi Hotel
+968 2449 6241
de Paris Cafe
+968 2456 6480

Stir the vinegar into the
milk, and let stand for a
few minutes until thick.
In a medium bowl , cream
together the shortening
and sugar until smooth.
Beat in the egg and vanilla
until well blended. Sift
together the our, baking
soda, and salt; stir into the
sugar mixture alternating with the vinegar and
milk. Roll dough out on
a oured surface to 1/3
inch thickness. Cut into
doughnuts using a doughnut cutter. Let stand for
about 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a large deep
skillet to 190 degrees C.
Fry doughnuts in the hot
oil until golden, turning
over once. Drain on paper
towels. Dust with confectioners sugar while they
are still warm, and serve

Photography: Supplied

The Delights
of Doughnuts

2 tablespoons white
3/8 cup milk
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart oil for deep frying
1/2 cup confectioners
sugar for dusting




Brown Rice

Do you eat brown rice or does the name itself put you off? True that brown rice
doesnt sound all that interesting, as it has a stigma for being mere diet food, but the nutty
avour and dense, hearty texture are as delicious as they are nutritious when made right.

Fried Rice

Veggie Burgers

Tossed Pilaf

Veg Layers

Super Salad

While we always eat

fried rice made out of
white rice, try making it
with the brown variety.
Add vegetables of your
choice, scrambled egg,
and ginger.

Mash two cups of

chickpeas and 1 cup of
cooked brown rice. Stir in
sliced onion, garlic, and
parsley. Season with salt
and pepper. Form into
patties and shallow fry.

Add nuts, dried fruit,

chopped bell pepper,
fresh herbs, and any
other vegetable you like
to steamed brown rice.
Splash with soy sauce for
a one-bowl, light lunch.

Add stir fried vegetables and squash to

cooked brown rice. Top
it with slices of fried
onions. Remove from
heat and stir in some
crunchy cashews.

Cooked brown rice, especially the long-grain

variety, gives wholesome chew to green
salads. Mix dates, cashews, and chickpeas for a
tasty, fresh meal.

W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N . C O M
T U E S DAY, JA N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 6










T U E S D AY, JA N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 6
Tel.: 24726666
413 / 430 /431 / 456 / 461


1/2/3 BHK Flats & Showrooms at


*Tourist visa arranged

Luxury flat for rent

in Bareeq Al Shatti building
Spacious 2 BHK with sea view,
split A/Cs, fixed wardrobes,
kitchen appliance.
Near Opera Gallery.
Rent RO.900/- negotiable.
Contact - 94084335 / 96920789

3 Bedroom at in Wadi Kabeer.

Contact 95755953 / 95555162

02 BHK Residential at opposite

to Al Nahdha hospital.
Contact: 99342733 / 99795241

BHK apartment for rent in

Al Khuwair near Ibis Hotel.
Contact: 95124975

Empty plot at Al Wadi Al Kabir

industrial area 550 sqm.
Contact: 95909020

4 BHK with terrace near Raymond

Ruwi in market on road.
Contact: 99065900/99354975
Al Khuwair 17/2, 4 rooms,
4 bathrooms. Contact: 97300123
Al Khuwair 33, 3 rooms, 2 bathrooms. Contact: 97300123
Apartments & shops for rent in Al
Amerat & brand new apartments &
shops for rent in Al Amerat.
Contact: 95965445
1000 sqm industrial land with
compound wall & two rooms at
Misfah. Contact: 99342733 /

New Deluxe 1,2,3,4 bedroom villas

ats Darsait, Ruwi, Al Khuwair.
Contact: 99369081
Newly build luxury residential villas for rent in Al Khoud.
Contact: 98116480 / 99447002 &
Flat in Hamriya.
Contact 99341112
Luxurious villa for rent in Al
Athaiba, a new luxurious G+2
oors villa in Al Azaibs. All rooms
W/ Splt unit ACs, close to Wave
Muscat & shopping centers.
Contact: 95965445

Family ats in Wadi AL Kabir, Hamriya, Muttrah, Al Khuwair, Ghubrah,

Bowshar, Al Hail North & Al Seeb.
Contact: 95250300 / 92125648
02 BHK Commercial / Residential
(with split AC) at at Honda road.
Contact: 99342733 / 99795241
1BHK near Indian school Darsait
Junior , 2 room , 2 bathroom ,
kitchen Monthly rent R.O 225/-.
Contact: 98320476/92459806
Sharing accommodation at Ruwi
near family shopping center,
please call after 6:00 pm .
Contact: 93394653

Bosher Rimal 1, building appt for

rent 2BR, Maid room, sitting room,
full appliance, kitchen, 4 toilets.
Contact: 99349910
Villa in Al Khoud for staff accommodation, like nurses or teachers can
accommodate 30 to 35 people.
Rent RO.1200/-. Contact - 91178282
Single room attach bath with
kitchen in Muscat 100/- R.O.
Contact: 95094028
A big room available for Muslim
couple / small family executive
bachelor near Hamriya R/A rent
130/- OMR, including water /
Electricity. Contact: 99495131


In a Luxury Building
in Al Seeb Market
Near Police station
99888007 - 99473500

2BHK modern & spacious ats

with split AC for rent in Qurum
near PDO Gate No.2.
Contact: 94057023
New at in Wadi Kabeer.
Contact: 98185135
Flats two bed room for rent in
Al Khuwair. Contact: 96571151
Residential cum commercial
2BHK available in MBD at 280/-.
Contact: 96332793
Villa for rent in Al Khuwair.
Contact: 96571151
1& 2 BHK ats for rent
at Hamriya Wadi Adai, Al Khoud,
Mabela & shop at Al Khoud & land
line Contact: 24834644 GSM
93994401/02/03 3 lines
Room, toilet and sharing kitchen
for family near Azaiba Bank
Muscat. Contact: 96755127

1&2 BHK at in Walja.

Contact: 98218279
New ats for rent at Darsait near
to ministry of sports, Mumtaz area
the ats include 1 living room, 2
Bedroom, kitchen, 3 toilets every
room with split A/C & high Quality
nishing, rent per at is R.O 340/-.
Interested candidates please
Contact: 00968- 92225523
Flat available in Muttrah Corniche
near Gold Souq (4 rooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen with balcony).
Contact: 24707088 / 91405015
3BHK at for rent in Ghubra.
Contac: 99328070
Flats shops & store for rent in
Ruwi, MBD area & Honda road.
Contact: 92589235/ 94579531
2BHK ats with split AC available
for rent at Al Khuwair 33.
Contact: 94057023

T U E S DAY, JA N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 6







1 B/RM WITH 2 bathrooms,

500,000 sqm store with

200 sqft office & 200
sqm covered shed
for rent at Mabella Ind
No-11 on main road,
direct from owner.

CONTACT - 99278002

Ware House - 630 M2



High quality
for rent at Mizfa
550 sqm to
3400 sqm.

96046951 / 99332291
Flats for rent 2BHK, 1 BHK with
AC new building at Wadi Al Kabir
behind Muscat Bakery.
Contact: 92103604
Flats shops & store for rent in Ruwi
MBD Honda road.
Contact: 92433127 / 97293708
Single bedroom at behind
German Embassy near to Al Nahdha Hospital and single bedroom
at near to Indian School
Al Ghubrah. Contact: 99203954
2 bedrooms, kitchen, toilet, car
park R.O 220/- & 1 bedroom,
kitchen, toilet R.O 140 in
Al Khuwair. Contact: 95154331
Flats available for rent at Al
Ghubra. Contact 99876576 &
2BHK new bldg for families
Al Khuwair 17/2. Contact: 91403136
Flat for rent (Walja) Ruwi 2 rooms,
2 toilets & kitchen for enquiry.
Contact: 95464608 or 95464607
2 bedroom centrally air
conditioned at in CBD, Central
Bank area. Contact: 24714625 /
2 BHK near Khamis shoes Honda
road Junction. Contact: 99737562
One ats for rent 2 bedroom
all with bath al Ghobrah north near
Indian school (hot burger restaurant) Tel. 9976610

Flat for rent in

CBD area - Ruwi
Two rooms and a large hall
Office spaces for rent in Al Hail on
the main road On the same building
of Al Khamis Shoes at Al Hail
2 bed room ats in Qurum 29 for
rent next to ABA New building
-split AC - Good location

Contact No:
Flats for rent in Wadi Kabir.
Contact: 99376454


3 washroom Flat with
Split Air Conditioners Near Lulu Darsait


1,2 BHK Ghubra R.O 300/-, 325/& 350/-. Contact: 97799175

1BHK at near Star Cinema 220/Contact 99358589 /95570288
Single BHK at available
in Honda road Ruwi. Contact:
24833972/ 24833974/ 99367448
Offices in Ghala.
Contact - 94051789-97201688
Offices in Qurum opposite City
Center. Contact - 9405178997201688

2BHK at for rent Darsait near ISM.

Contact: 95158570 / 99102255
Brand new Twin Villas in
Mawaleh South 4BR; 2Halls;
External Kitchen and Maids room.
Contact: 99414106

600 M2 showroom or office in

Bousher in front of Dolphin
complex. RO.3.5 per m2.
Contact 91776665

2BHK Sitting room, 3 bathrooms,

split AC big balcony 300/- R.O in
Wadi Kabeer. Contact: 99324402

Brand new 4 BHK villa in Al Fai

compound Al Khoud. RO.475/Contact 91776665

Mini Furnished Apartment in

Qurum. Contact - 9405178997201688

Flat for Rent 1/2 BHK Flat at

Muttrah, near Oman our mills,
10 min. from Corniche.Equipped
with split unit ACs, internet points,
free-to-air dish connection, CCTV
monitored, basement parking.
Rent RO.250/350 per month.
Contact:99229263; 93221054;

Luxury villa of 5 BHK in

Al Khuwair 33 RO.650/Contact 91776665

Duplex villa in Qurum 29. Contact

- 94051789-97201688

3 BHK at near Darsait ID medical.

RO 420/- Contact 99358589 /
97079146 / 95570288
1BHK Mumtaz R.O 250/-.
Contact: 97799175 / 92144045
600 SQT commercial at for rent
opposite Oman ourmill Darsait
more details. Contact:91214849/

Luxury and brand new semi

furnished 2 BHK at in Remalbowsher. RO.550/- Contact 91776665
Spacious 1 BHK at in Al Wattaya
with all split A/Cs and parking.
RO.300/-Contact 91776665
Flats in Darsait.
Contact - 94051789-97201688
Flats in WadiKabir.
Contact - 94051789-97201688

2 Room + hall & kitchen ,3 toilets

in Bareeq Al Shatti 750 RO.
Contact: 99314314

Fully Furnished apartments in

Boucher (35)
Contact - 94051789-97201688

7 Bedrooms villa in Ghobrah North.

Contact - 96420432

Flats in Muttrah.
Contact - 94051789-97201688

Bobcat available for rent.

Contact 97623299

Profs/ Jack. Contact 93219378

Commercial ats of 3 & 2 BHK

in Al Ghobra North 18 Nov street
RO.650/- & 450/Contact 91776665

Villa of 3 BHK and sitting area in

Al Ghobra North. RO.525/Contact 91776665


Brand new villas in Al Ansab.

Contact - 94051789-97201688
Offices & Showrooms in Muttrah.
Contact - 94051789-97201688

Offices & Showrooms in Al Khoud.

Contact - 94051789-97201688

Rav4 ,2015,38000 km No.2 O.R
8200. Contact : 96474787
Hummer H2 model 2006, 178000
km, Full options Number 1 Army
edition.OMR 7200. Contact
Chaverlet Epica 2004 model
RO -700, for sale. Contact 92194205
BMW 318/ 2003 for sale.
Contact 96364990

Buying cars for cash.
Contact: 90202090




Low bed Trailer (PDO SPC)

available monthly / daily for Rent.
Contact: 96633970



CONTACT - 99353931
Household items & furniture in
excellent condition for sale. Indian
expat leaving for good.
Contact Ravi : 93380408
Beauty Salon for urgent sale in
Azaiba prime location behind
Al Fardan building. With sponsor
and 1 staff and 1 ready visa clearance. Call: 95318629 / 95169411

Excavation contracts worth RO 2

million + Big Volvo Excavators &
2015 Astra 5 tippers for sale.
Contact: 99120532 / 98867530

Kingsize 7x7 double cot, dining

table good as new.
Contact: 98796982

Dialysis Machine(DBO7) - Available

10 Units for Sale .
Contact : 94306662 or
Email :

Restaurant items for sale.

Contact: 96772479 /98428507


Filling material for sale in

Muscat. Contact: 93299940
Villas in Al Khoud. Contact 95056808-97201688
Luxury Apartments in Bousher
(35). Contact - 9505680897201688

IELTS Coaching (academic)

required nearby wadi Kabir area.
Please call on mobile or msg on
Whats up.
Mobile no: 92927880/99012165


Beauty parlor for sale in good

condition at Ghubra.
Contact: 98178135

Spacious semi furnished room

with separate bathroom for executive bachelor opposite OC centre
Ruwi. Call: 92273779

Master Chef restaurant Al Hail for

sale 8 visas clearance available.
Contact: 91205000

Single bedroom at behind

German Embassy, near Al Nahdha
Hospital. Contact 99203954

3Ton Forklift, Special made for

Oman market, Japanese Isuze
C240 Engine, Cascade side shifter,
High amount exhaust, 3m lifting
height, Solid tyres, One year warranty. Contact: 98883445

Room available in Mumtaz area 1

room, 1 Bathroom, Kitchen &
1 room, common bathroom.
Interested please
Contact: 92680041 Mr. Altaf
CONTD on pg 6


T U E S D AY, JA N UA RY 2 6, 2 0 1 6
Tel.: 24726666
413 / 430 /431 / 456 / 461
Fax: 24812624

Qualified & experienced
male B.SC holder

With 10 -15 years experience
for a Muscat based well known
construction company.

Fax: 24479675

should have GCC
experience 5-10 years

Wanted female GP, female

Gynecologist, female Staff
Nurse, female X- Ray Technician
With MOH license for Al Saadi
Specialized Medical Centre
in Musanna.

Contact -91262604

Well reputed
Marble Company looking for

Requires minimum 3 years experience
and valid Omani driving license.

Interested candidates please

Fax your CV to 24601724 or
Email on

kindly send your CV to


A leading trading establishment based in Sultanate of Oman
is looking for an experienced male outdoor sales executive
preferably an Arab national having minimum 5 years of retail
sales experience. Good English and Arabic communication
skills is a must along with Oman Car Driving License.
This position is to be based in Oman Only.
Only serious applicants who holds above criteria
in related field may apply to:

Auto Electrician cum A/c Mechanic

for Workshop



Urgently required
Experienced Sales Man
for Al-Rawas Marble
& Granite.
Located at
Al Rusayl Industrial.
Please forward your cv at
oure mail :

Candidate must have a minimum 2 to 3 years experience in assembly,

installation, maintenance and repairs of automotive refrigeration,
air-conditioning systems and chiller units.
He should be well conversant in repair and troubleshooting of electrical
faults and experienced in using computerized diagnostic systems.
He should be ITI/DME (Auto) qualified.

Interested candidates email cv on or contact on 99440518



Indian male accountant with

9 years ( 8 yr Oman) experience
seeking suitable placement
immediately ( NOC available ).
Contact: 98624850


We have a batch of skilled Omani candidates in Administration, HR,
Account & Reception ready to join different companies in a month
We will also provide training for Omani candidates as per your need
like Cashier, Teller, HR, Admin, Sales, Stores, Customer service etc.,

(Omani Candidates only)
Required Store Keeper
to manage an office store
in Ghala
Minimum 5 years
experience handling stores
with working knowledge
of English

Required Full Time Light Driver
for an Omani Family. Indian or
Philippine national are preferred.
Send SMS only to 97711577
Reputed Construction Company
require experienced light Vehicle
Driver. Contact 95526871

select the suitable candidates in consultation with your officials.
training the company will not incur any cost like salaries & training.
requirement. The candidate will stay at least for a year without leaving the job.

For any queries contact us: 26862210, 93677745 & 93677795

Fax: 26861710 email:,

Send CV to



Urgently required building

Technician for inquiries.
Contact: 98111363

We are looking for Chief

Financial Officer, Male 40- 45
years old, Bachelor of Science in
Accountancy with 5 - 15 yrs. of experience. Contact: +968 24702133

Beauty expert required to work
in Salon in Al Amerat.
Contact : 93336061

Chinese / Arab/ Grill, cooks.
Contact: 95529970
Wanted experienced English
speaking Continental Cook
for reputed house in Qurum.
Contact 99466062

in western attire and traditional
wear required for a Boutique in
Capital area. Female candidates
with 4 to 5 years experience in
GCC are advised to revert at
9321 8210 or

Housemaid required for Keralite
family. Contact 95405033
Looking for housemaid urgently
clearance available good salary
yearly ticket. TEL 24446920 /

Wanted Driver. Contact:

Civil Site Supervisor for telecom

tower projects across Oman. Send
CV to or
call +968 9946 7227
Required Maintenance Technician (male - 1) - should have
knowledge of new devices & 3
years Oman experience.
Contact: 94441111 Send CV to

desired candidate must be a graduate/diploma in Civil Engineering
with minimum experience of 3 to
5 years as Lab Technician having
Experience of testing construction materials on Building/ Road
projects. Send your CV to:
Required X RAY Technician, Lab
Technician, General Practitioner,
Gynecology, Staff Nurses.
Contact: 95133572
Wanted GP Doctor with MOH
license, job location in Muscat
with good salary and benets.
Drop your cv at
Wanted B- Pharmacist (female)
for a pharmacy in Sohar.
Contact : 99767605
Wanted Manager and Doctor for
25 year old well running clinic in
Amerat. Tel 99024340
E mail drtkjoseph50@
Orthopedician, Nurses,
Physiotherapist, Asst. Pharmacist,
Gynecologists to work in a clinic
at sur. M/F, any nationality with
MOH license or prometric pass
60% and above can apply to


15 years experienced in nance &
treasury management CPA, CMA,
ACCA, MBA, qualied Chartered
Accountant available for immediate
joining as head of nance, nancial
advisor, nanced consultant.
Contact: 94872345








Urgently required GP, Gynecologist,

Dentist, Staff Nurse, Lab Technician, Pharmacist, For a medical
centre in Muscat. Tel: 92603863
Email :


female) Preferably Omani (For
Private Trading Company Deals in
to Oil & Gas Equipments). Candidate
should be Graduate with 2 Years of
Experience (Preferred) & Fluent in
English with having strong written
Communication Skills with sound
knowledge of Computer. Send OR
Contact on gsm : 99681448

Urgently required Office Staff/

Manager for medical equipment
import office in Ruwi. Tel: 92603863
Wanted Gynecologist, General Practitioner, Assistant Pharmacist for
immediate appointment. # 97884856/
mail CV to
Wanted urgently lady Doctor GP
or DGO for immediate appointment.
Contact : 99310590

Photographer lady with experience in Photoshop and editing
video. Visa available. #92073780
Urgently required for a reputed
company in Oman (Tyre, Battery
& Lubricant division) Sr. Executives/Executive-5 nos (Sohar,
Nizwa & Muscat), Techno Commercial Professional-5nos, Driver
(Omani)-1no. Required minimum
3-5 yrs experience in the same
eld with market exposure holding valid Omani driving license
or GCC. Kindly fwd your CVs to
Contact: (+968)93891700
Sales Ladies wanted for Ladies
Boutique. Age: 20-35 yrs. Al
Khoudh. Call -91159905 Send CV

Salesman require for building
material with driving license &
10 years working experience.
Fax your C.V 24833043.
(Mustafa Hardware Store)

Required Philippine Sales lady

for womens shoes and bags store.
Arabic speaking advantage.
Send CV with current picture.
Required Salesman for Electronic
& mobile devices (male - 2) should have 3 years Oman experience. Contact: 94441111. Send CV
to email:
An excellent Grade company
requires experience Salesman
for indoor and outdoor with Oman
driving license. Mail your CV to
Sales for a printing press Whatsapp Only. Contact: 95955729


Preferably Omani (For Private Trading Company Deals in to Oil & Gas
Equipments). Candidate should be
Graduate with 2 Years of Experience
(Preferred) & Fluent in English with
having strong written Communication Skills and sound knowledge of
Computer. Interested Candidate may
apply to :
OR Contact#: 99681448

Immediate Requirements for experienced Tailors (Designer wears,
casual clothing). Please call for
interview 99471085

Female Accountant Indian with

3 years exp in Oman looking for
suitable job. Contact: 98418533/
Young 24, ACCA affiliate, Advanced diploma in Accounting
and Business, seeking suitable
placement in Accounts, Finance or
audit With valid driving license.
Contact - 92430152,
Email -
Part time Accountant, up to nalization, looking for job after 5pm
(location prefer MSQ to
Al Hail). Contact: 95694737
Finance & Accounts Indian male
35 years B.Com MBA (F) 7 years
experience tally ERP9 with valid
D/L family visa.
Contact: 93257426 / 95230114
Indian male B.Com with 1 year
experience in Oman as Account
having driving license seeks
suitable placement.
Contact: 93415880 Email:
Chartered Accountant with 1.5
years of experience looking for
job. Currently in Oman on visit
visa. Contact - 91520687
Accounting Assistant, BBA, M.
Com (pursuing), tally, peach tree,
valid visa available.
Contact : 98269281
Indian male (25) 6 years
experience in accountant seeking
suitable placement accountant,
admin, sales visit visa.
Contact: 98437731
Finance & accounts 25 years
Oman experienced WHO can handle accounts up to nalization job
costing, receivable payable age
wise analysis and timely followers with D/L & NOC.
Contact: 94070799
Indian Accountant well experienced in construction accounts
(Financial and Cost) and also
administration and HR seek suitable placement (Full/Part time) in
Oman or UAE. Contact 98598099
Part time accounts qualied
experience accountant.
Contact: 91126314
Accountant / account assistant,
BBA, M.Com, Tally, Peach tree on
valid visa in Oman. #98269281
Finance-Indian with 7 years
experience in Finance & Accounts
up to nalization. Currently
employed in Oman. Having D/L &
NOC. Mob: 94122464,

Indian male, 28, Post Graduate, 6

years exp. in Oman in Sales and
Credit Control , with valid Oman D/L
looking for suitable placements.
NOC available. Ph: 9206 6523
Indian male good experienced in
Accounts, ERP Tally 9 & Admin in
India & Oman, presently on visit
visa, looking for suitable placement.
Contact 94834687
Indian male 25 yrs, Graduate in commerce, overall 5 yrs exp in accounts/
nance eld. On visit visa. Immediately available. Contact 92836216 /
28/male/MBA - nance/B.Com Accountant with 4 years of Dubai/
India experience looking for a
suitable placement. #90187483
13yrs experience, 6 yrs Oman in
manufacturing, trading & contracting Cos, capable of handling all
accounting, nance, banking, L/C,
import, export & nalization seeks
placement. NOC Available.
Financial Accounting Manager
having working experience 24
years looking job in construction
or manufacturing companies 8
years working in Muscat expecting
family status with good compensation. Contact: 95919546.
Indian lady, bachelor degree in
Preparatory Programme (BPP) and
Bachelor of Commerce (BCom),
completed training course in MS
Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook from KTI looking for full time /
part time job opportunity in Oman.
Contact 92437568, 96795853,
Part-time accounting, tax report,
auditing & bank loan assistance.
Contact 91720465
Total 24 yrs exp. 15 years served
Oman LLC SAOG, SAOC Contracting, trading manufacturing
company as Finance Commercial
Manager looks after nance logistics, procurement, ERP, oracle, tally
focus internal control implementation B.Com PGDBM, ICWA (Inter).
Contact: 91721545 / 95788723,
Indian male, MBA (nance),
1 year experience in Oman having
Oman D/L and NOC on visit visa
looking for a suitable job.
Contact 94109375
Indian Male Accountant 10yrs
Exp. in OMAN Retail & Furniture Co. (Release Available)
Indian male MBA nance 12 years
experience in Oman as Accounts
/ Admin manger, seeks suitable
placement on visit visa. Can join
immediately. Contact: 96055815
Indian Male, pursuing ACCA with
knowledge in C++, Java looking for
accounting job. Contact 94743462.
HR Manual, Employee Handbook, Recruitment, Training, HR
Consultancy. Are you looking
for freelancer HR professional?
Please contact on 97914669

T U E S DAY, JA N UA RY 2 6, 2 0 1 6



Senior Management
experience in Retail,
Distribution, FMCG &
Electronics across GCC markets
seeks GM / VP / Vertical Head
position for Group Companies
Management and P&L deliveries.

Contact +968 9791 2950

Indian female, M.Tech electronics 6.5 IELTS experience as VLSI /
Electronics project trainer & institute
administration currently in family
visa. Contact: 90195131 /24551290
Indian female Graduate 7 years as
Secretary Office Assistant Admin
seeks placement.
Contact: 99073789
Indian female PGDHRM MSW having 5+ experience in HR Assistant
Administration customer support
good computer skill DOA, CIT Tally
now on family visit visa looking for
suitable position. Contact: 95352527
Indian female 25 years Graduates
in BBM (HR) currently on visit visa
looking for suitable job.
Contact: 92065248
young Omani male have experience 12 years as P.R.O , Clerk helper
supervisor Admin supervisor , H.R
Manager have diploma in H.S.E, IT
and P.D.O license looking for H.R
position or P.R.O license . Looking
for H.R position or P.R.O part time
or full time. Contact: 95933288
Indian having more than 10
years experience (7 years in UAE)
as project secretary, document
controller, site administrator, site
store keeper on visit seek suitable
placement. Contact 92196001
14 years of Gulf experience in HR/
Admin & logistics uent in Arabic
& English with D/L looking for
suitable position, NOC available.
Contact: 95824598
Indian male MBA- UK 18 yrs Gulf
exp in Administration/ HR & Public
relationship. Fluent in Arabic/
English with D/L. Looking for suitable position. Contact - 99897280
Filipino male with 13 years HR and
Administration managerial experience. MBA & CIPD holder. Currently
looking for job in Oman. Interested
employer pls call 97728418.
Indian Female, MBA-HR having
8+ experience in Administration/
HR, Customer Support, Office
Coordinator with good Computer
skill, Now on Visit Visa,looking for
suitable position.
Contact: 90196235
Indian female 27 yrs with 5 yrs
HR /Admin experience seeking
suitable placement with valid
Oman driving license.
Contact: 98236033
Indian female, Masters in HR,
having 4 + years Oman experience
in media management and HR,
looking for openings in HR, Education, Admin, Corporate communications. Contact 98252030



Experienced Light Duty Driver,
Fluent in English, Arabic Well
knowledge of Oman Areas
Seeking Suitable placement
Contact 97950869
Looking for driver job with own
car, education, B.A, can speak
English, Arabic, Urdu & Hindi.
Contact: 96728056 / 98031620
Light driver looking for job experience in Oman 6 years & K.S.A 5
years education H.S.C.
Contact: 93940319
Omani male need driver job for
part time. Contact: 92296607
Light duty driver experience
4 years suitable job. Can speak
English, Arabic & Hindi.
Contact: 98393692
Driver with car looking for job or
part time. Contact: 96023492
Light driver need job knows
English, Hindi & Arabic.
Contact: 92820309
Light driver need job 4 years exp
English & Arabia speaking.
Contact: 94208089
Job for driving.
Contact: 98982410
27 years, 1 year experience,
with D/L. Contact: 97369716
Indian young smart driver 5
years Oman exp speaking English
Arabic, Hindi looking for job.
Contact: 94524433
Light driver Ruwi.
Contact: 95779594

Civil AutoCAD Draughts man
5 years experience on visit visa.
Contact: 99759284 Email:
A lady entrepreneur with BF Tech
1st Class (Fashion Technology)
since 2006 in Kerala like to make
change for better. Specialized in
designing, Production
Management, Fashion Art,
Grading, Surface ornamentation,
Garment Construction.
Mobile: +919539397097.
Interior designer Indian male
with 4 years experience / 3Ds
Max, AutoCAD .Now on visit visa
seeking suitable placement.
Contact: 94886507
25 years male BA. English , Qualied as mast in digital animation
having 5 yrs ex in character
animation specialized Auto Desk
mago and motion building
software knowledge,
seeking suitable placement.
Contact: 97917357



20+ years experience Architect

M.B.A 10 years Muscat experience
(local transfer) looking for job
opportunity. Contact: 91709408 /

Indian female masters in computer science and Engineering B.Tech

in information technology , M.B.A
( Systems) 3 years experience
teaching in college , having good
knowledge in C++ , java oracle now
on visit visa looking for openings
in Educational institutions.
Contact: 91812419/96935426

Cooks (Arabic Indian) gulf exp
looking job. Contact: 99531802

Looking full time job.
Contact: 99153378

Pakistani male light driver 10 yrs
in UAE & 1 yr in Oman.
Contact: 93709393
Driver (light & heavy duty) valid
gulf /Indian) looking job.
Contact: 95175192
Driver with new car looking for 95873286
Light driver looking for job.
Contact: 95219183

Sudanese Architectural Engineer

2 years experience in Oman, Revit,
AutoCAD 3Ds max Archicad looking for suitable job.
Contact: 94722356
Sri Lankan Engineer (27 Years
old) B.Sc Engineering (Hon)
Mining / Geotechnical Presently
in Muscat, 1.5 years experience.
Contact 91295802 /
Indian female, 31 yrs, 7 yrs experienced as AutoCAD civil draftsman (2 yrs experience in Oman)
currently in Oman seeks suitable.
Contact 96789441


B.Tech Mechanical, Diploma in industrial health and safety, NEBOSH
(IGC) , working experience 4 years
(Construction, oil and Gas) .
Contact: 94750413
Indian female (B.Tech/ Mechanical
Engineering) 4 yrs Oman experience in project coordination in water,
sewerage and infrastructure sector
, Having valid Omani D/L seeking
suitable placement. Local release
available. Contact: 95297449
B.Tech Chartered Electrical
Engineer, AMIEI with 5 years of
experience in electrical power
transmission and distribution in
industrial, residential & commercial
sectors. Expertise in load designing
BOQ, Estimations, transformer and
switchgear selections. Leadership
skills in project execution & management. Contact: 94638744
Computer Network and Hardware
Engineer with driving license and
20 years of experience in Oman
looking for a suitable position.
Contact: 98388431
B. Sc Civil Engineer, having 27
yrs Oman experience as Project
Manager, Structure Engineer looking
for suitable placement, consulting,
contracting co. NOC & local transfer
available. Contact : 99399578
Indian male 26 yrs BE- Mechanical Engineering, CSWIP 3.1 certied
welding inspector + ASNT level in
UT, RT, MPT, LPT with 3.5 yrs experience in QC Inspector- Welding.
Looking for a suitable job.
Sri Lanka (BSC) quantity surveyor,
having 3 years GCC experience is
looking for a suitable placement 1
such as QS/ Contract administrator
/ estimator / project coordinator has
knowledge in Fidic and construction standard available in visit visa.
Contact: 96301107 /94292198
7 years teaching experience in
Political Science at University level,
5 years experience as Intellectual
property lawer 20 years experience of Arabic / English visa versa ,
translation / interpretation / Editing
, 20 years of experience in management, Tri lingual ( Arabic / English /
French) Contact : 92175153
B.Tech Civil, 25 yrs female, 3 yrs exp
in qty survey have valid GCC license.
Contact: 91309475
Indian male 5 years experience in
piping (Site Engineer / Supervisor)
Indian and Oman (PDO Project) &
looking for suitable post currently on
visiting visa, NOC available.
Contact: 94258289 Email:
B.Tech Mechanical Engineer fresh
graduate, on visit visa looking
for job, who has done certication courses in quality control,
basic pipeline engineering, ASNT
NDT level ii , also good knowledge in HVAC. Contact:94743373
Sudanese Civil Structure Engineer,
3 years experience with residence
and Omani license, good at AutoCAD
Etabs Staad. Pro looking for suitable
job. Contact: 97906770
Civil Engineer 3 years diploma
holder having 7 years experience,
building construction & oil & gas
eld with driving license.
Contact: 93294965
Mechatronics Engineer 26, MSc
with 3 years industrial experience,
looking for suitable placement. NOC
available. Contact 94887665
Electrical Engineer Indian (29) ,
7 years exp in Oman, 33KV, 11 KV
projects in MZEC & MEDC having
CEP 1 & NOC with D/L.
Contact: 99822373
Sr.HSE Engineer (B.E Mech+ Diploma Safety + NEBOSH+OSHA) over
10yrs. Exp, (Visa Release/Transfer
Letter (NOC) available),
seeking suitable placement.
Contact - 97061817,

Mechanical Engineer (B.Tech) with

2 and half years experience Indian
male 24 years in visit visa. Contact:
96620482 / + 91 9605423272
B.Tech (IT) Indian Male 2 years
Oman experience in I.T & Networking, holding Oman Driving License,
presently on employment visa,
seeks for a suitable placement.
Ready to join immediately. NOC
available. Contact: 92462578
Electrical & Instrumentation
Engineer, Gulf Experience,
3 Year, Immediately available.
Contact- 95691800
Civil Engineer 8 years experience
Structural buildings marine. Available NOC release. Contact: 92451323.
Civil Engineer diploma, 4 yrsexp
seeks suitable position ina reputed
company. NOC available.
Contact 96789711
Civil Engineer 8 years experience
in Oman as a project engineer for
governmental & private projects.
Contact 90164912
Civil Engineer (B.Tech), Indian
male 24 years with 1+years Indian
experience,(Certied in Staad
Pro/ Quantity Survey/ Auto Cad).
Looking for a Suitable position.
Available In Sultanate of Oman
(Muscat) on Visit Visa.
Contact: 92835952. E-mail:
Highly experienced mechanical/
steel structural fabrication engineer
looking for suitable placement. NOC
available. Contact: 99860714,
Networking Engineer having
10 years experience with 3 years in
Oman having valid driving license
and NOC, presently in Oman needs
immediate placement.
Contact - 95783383
10 years experience in Dubai &
Bangladeshi as a BSC Engineer on
structural designer & construction
having Dubai municipality approval
& driving license. Contact: 91206763
Future 008801758846027 Email:
Mechanical Engineer (B.Tech) Indian male, with good knowledge in
HVAC on visit visa looking for suitable placement. Contact: 90154793
HSE & Fire Safety Engineer
4 years experience air port operational safety, power & chemical
industry. Contact: 94374241
Electrical Engineer B.Tech with
4 yrs experience in India available
on visit visa looking for suitable
placement. Contact: 94741401
Indian male electrical engineer
having 3 yrs exp in industrial
electrical machine maintenance &
data center facilities management
looking for suitable placement (NOC
available). Contact :99381733
Email :
Indian male Diploma Civil Engineer have 1 yr. experience, on
visit visa looking for suitable job
(certicate attested).
Contact: 92667406 / 99210411,
Email :
Indian Male 23 years B.Tech
Civil having 2 years experience in
quantity survey and site management looking for suitable placement. Contact:- 95042656
Sudanese Telecom Engineer,
5 years experience, 3 years in
Oman PMP certicate.
Contact: 93391008 Email:
Sudanese Structure Civil Engineer 2 years experience resident
Omani license. Contact: 94393880
Civil Engineer / QS engineer,
9 years experience in Oman freelance visa, searching for a suitable
job in Oman. Contact: 97299165
Need job for experienced mason,
electrician & welder.
Contact: 93015630





Indian male Electrical Engineer,
having 6 years gulf experience in
designing, assembling, commissioning execution etc having valid
GCC license too looking for a suitable. Contact: 00968-98052942
Civil Engineer 11 years experience
in construction having driving
license & NOC. Contact: 94194399
Mechanical Engineer male 26 yrs,
with 4 yrs of experience in manufacturing oil & gas retail, brand promoting, marketing, logistics having
valid Omani D/L seeking for
a suitable placement.
Contact: 97098676
Telecom Engineer and HSE
Advisor with 6 years experience
in Oman with PDO requirement,
uent in Arabic and English with
valid driving license searching for
job. Contact: 96355678
16+ yrs of Techno commercial experience in ELV systems seeking
suitable position in mid management level. Local release available. Contact: 98143907 Email:
M.Tech in Manufacturing Engineering with 2 years of experience, on visiting visa looking for
a suitable job. Contact: 91417949
BE Mech specialization welding
technology 11 yrs quality cont
Engineer by Steel Cons EPL
Installation desalination plant
(Gulf). Contact: 96603299
Electrical Engineer: Indian male,
30 yrs having 5 yrs of experience
in industrial automation & utility
maintenance in India (MRF tyres),
holding valid Oman D/L.
Contact 92789995, email :
Instrument Engineer B.Tech
Indian male, 24 yrs, 1 yrs experience in reputed oil & gas companies, currently on visit visa, seeks
suitable job. Contact: 92007218
7 Yrs Exp. PM in Mech. Engg in
the eld of Building Const. Oil &
Gas Seeking Job.94625598
Road and Construction Engineer
with 5 years exp in Oman.
Contact: 97667113
Civil Engineer (Diploma) having
11 years experience in building
construction, looking for a suitable
placement , having Oman driving
license. Noc available. #95075365
Civil Engineer 6 yrs Exp in Oman
with license. Contact: 98975518
Indian female civil engineer B.Tech
having 3 years experience sound
knowledge of software, REVIT STAD
PRO structural detailing currently
on family visa seeks suitable placement. Contact: 95345591
Civil Engineer diploma holder
having 7 years experience of Site
Engineer with valid Omani D/L
looking for suitable placement.
Contact: 93294965 Email:
Indian Electrical Engineer Btech,
female 24 seeking job, presently
in oman having 2 year experience
in design and estimation of Ht &Lt
projects. Contact 968 97436557,
Mail id :
Electrical Engineer with 18 years
exp in UAE. Contact: 98148034
Diploma in Electronics, 2 years
exp in telecommunication.
Contact: 94519571 Email:
Civil Engineer (BE) having total
5 years experience in building
construction looking for a suitable
placement. D/L available
Contact# 94450270

Indian male, Mechanical

Engineer having 1year experience, on visit visa looking for
suitable job. Contact:97416564,
Procurement Engineer (27 years
single male with Oman Driving License) having 7 years experience
(UAE 2, Oman 3) with expertise in
MEP, Water, Electromechanical,
Instrumentation seeking suitable
placements. Contact 95852033,
Diploma in Mechanical Eng
piping system in AutoCAD work,
21+ years experience with Driving
license. Contact: 95267113
Mechanical Engineer M.Tech
2 years experience HVAC design
& site Engg revit MEP Auto CAD.
Contact: 90150913 Email:
Bachelor Civil Engineer 6 Years
in Oman experience Valid Driving
License seeks suitable placement
Phone 97619722
Mechanical Engineer with 3 Yrs
experience in international Oil
& Gas company looking for job
Contacts: Tel: 90164236 Email:

Indian male B.A Degree & diploma
in hotel management with 16
years experience as restaurant &
catering manager in Oman & Saudi
with V/L Oman D/L seeks suitable
placement. Contact: 92100141
Hospitality/Hotel/ Restaurants
Dynamic result oriented hospitality professional with 20 years of
international exp. MBA in Hotel
Management, specializing in
Hotel/Restaurant start ups, concepts & Franchise development
with proven records. Seeking for
Challenging positions in reputed
groups as GM/COO/CEO/Business
Head. (NOC available)
Contact: 96059470

Indian female MCA Graduate,
holding valid driving license seeking suitable placement.
Contact: 99466062
Indian male B.E ECE 25 yrs with
2 years experience in Networking
searching for suitable placement.
Contact: 90189537
Hardware & networking, 2 years
exp. Contact: 96244031
Indian female (30 yrs) , BCA ,
MCA,ASP NET certication, SAP
ABAP certication 2 yrs experience, seeking placement family
visa. Contact: 99109121 Email:
SAP consultant with experience in
SD, MM & PM on visit visa in Oman
searching for job.
Contact: 92824632
Indian male 26 years with BBA,
tally and hard ware networking,
having 3 years of experience as
an accountant, seeking for suitable
placement. Contact: 98201244
5yrs experience in software
and 1yr in admin, looking for a
part-time or work from home jobs
Contact: 91711326
Indian male (28) MCA 6 yrs experienced Oracle 10g, 6I, PL / SQL
forms / reports seeking job in IT
sector now on visit visa.
Contact: 91475059
Sudanese Network Administrator 1 year experience with (MCSA,
CCNA, CCNP) have valid driving
license. Contact: 92394485
Network Engineer degree Computer Science CCNA, MCSA experience NOC. Content: 92346191


T U E S D AY, JA N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 6


Tel.: 24726666
413 / 430 /431 / 456 / 461
Fax: 24812624

Indian male 26 years BSC IT with
4 years experience currently on
visit visa looking for IT support
job knowledge of networking, programming languages, windows /
Linux environment. Contact:
+968 95369856 / 24781651 Email:
Dynamics AX 2009 / 2012 R2/R3
Microsoft certied professional
MCA & BCA Having 15 yrs of total
exp & 6 yrs of relevant exp seeking for suitable position. NOC is
available. Contact: 93469493
Indian Male, IT System Engineer
having 4 yrs of experience in system administration.CCNA,MCSE,
Linux. Looking for suitable job.
Contact :91272867
10 years Oman experience ICT
Sector, capable of handling large
accounts, looking for suitable
Senior Executive position.
Contact: 98987654
B.Tech (IT) Indian Male 2 years
Oman experience in I.T & Networking, holding Oman Driving
License, presently on employment
visa, seeks for a suitable placement. Ready to join immediately.
NOC available. Contact: 92462578

Procurement Manager / Commercial Manager / G.M Indian male
having 26 years of experience in
Import, procurement, logistics,
Commercial activities,
Warehousing, TRD & Sales.
Contact: 90502724
25 years experienced Supervisor in plumbing & reghting
available, NOC & driving license.
Contact: 95703680
The Business Development
Manager, Iraqi, Experience 15 Years
Inside and outside Oman following
activities: tenders& real estate&
construction & marketing projects&
investments & transportation &
Marine services& companies management& develop business.
Contact :- 92385033
The Business Development Manager, Iraqi, Experience 15 Years
Inside and outside Oman following activities: construction(Very
strong and qualied to bringing
business for civil work Or any
type of the construction work for
many million per year with a good
experience in pricing and collect
payment and cash management of
the company & marketing projects
& investments& tenders & real
estate. Contact 92385033
Indian male, with experience in
operations management, information security, purchase & stores
mgmt, hold UAE driving license,
on visit visa, seeks suitable job.
Contact 91904541
MBA (marketing) with 17 years
experience in freight forwarding/
logistics industry in GCC & Oman.
Presently working as branch
manager in Muscat. Looking for
a suitable position. Release and
NOC available. Contact: 99856331

Indian female BDS with MOH
license looking for job.
Contact: 95347894
Female Ayurvedic therapist.
Contact: 97263637

Male nurse MOH licensed having
NOC completed BLS, ACLS total 6
yrs exp seeking suitable job, join
at anytime . Contact : 91322744
An experienced Sudanese female
Dentist with MOH license looking for job. Contact: 96436517

Indian Female, 24 Years - MSc
Biotechnology. Worked in International Crops Research Institute
For The Semi Arid Tropics for project work as trainee. Looking for
suitable job. Mobile: 92619048,
Indian male having experience
more than 13 yrs, 4 years in Oman
as Store keeper, Procurement in
reputed company looking suitable
placement release available.
Contact: 92245926 Email:
10 years experience in Oman in
logistics / purchase have Oman
D/L looking for suitable placement.
Contact- 96410767
Purchaser, experience 9.5 years
in Oman, Indian male, Driving
License available with own car.
Currently working with ARDISEIS
Oman Branch (Seismic work for
PDO Oman) as a purchaser. Handling all type purchase, logistic,
petty cash, stock, dispatch. Working with SAP application. Educational qualication - Post Graduate
in MA (Economics) Salary Negotiable seeks suitable Placement.
Contact 99458569 Email :
Female business graduate from
UK with four years corporate Experience in procurement purchasing expediting logistics and supply chains in UAE Seeks suitable
placement. Contact: 99581399
Indian female on visit MBA
(International Business- Marketing & Logistics), BE (Computers &
Science Engg.) Trained in SAP-BI/
BW with 1 year experience
seeking for job Contact: 90228586
Graduate, computer literate, experienced in sales, credit control, accounts, Omani D/L , seeks suitable
placement. Gsm 98805474

Indian having PG diploma Logistics and shipping management 3
years experience as Warehouse
Executive experience in logistics,
purchase and store.
Contact: 98473905

Indian male B.Sc Chemistry Graduate 6 years experience in India
seeking suitable placement willing
to work in any eld currently on
visiting visa. Contact: 94855667 /
BBA graduate /Valid Omani license/2 year experience/ Preferred
role Marketing / Sales / Business
development Executive.
Looking for immediate sales and
marketing 3 years GCC experience
with valid driving license now on
visit visa till Feb 12.
Contact: 99642611


Pakistani male three years experience in Oman speaks excellent
English, earlier worked as English
speaking tourist guide.
Contact : 99120956
B.Tech Electronics Indian male
experience in Technical & marketing 2 years Oman driving license.
Contact: 98627362 , email :
A dynamic professional, Female,
with 8 years of experience in
,OFFICE ASSISTANT, residing in
Oman with valid NOC from current
company,looking for a suitable job,
Ready to join Immediately.
Phone:- 94157662
South Indian hold 12 years Omani
residency B.E, MBA, PGDM, MCIM,
result oriented self starter - Techno
commercial Executive 15 years core
experience in business development/ marketing oil & gas (all
streams) & manufacturing. seeking suitable placement. Contact
B.Sc Graduate with 4.4 years work
experience in Sales, Marketing and
Business Development looking for a
job. Currently in Oman and ready to
join immediately.
Contact : 00968-95096284
A dynamic professional, female,
with 8 years of experience in PURCHASE, SALES COORDINATION ,
Oman with valid NOC from current
company, looking for a suitable
job, Ready to join Immediately.
Phone:- 94157662
Indian male 26, with more than
4 years experience in Sales and
Marketing having valid GCC
license on visit visa seeks suitable
position. Contact: 92423161
Indian male Sales Engineer 18
years experience (pneumatics,
electric, air compressor, garage
equipments etc) including 5 years
Gulf experience currently employed
in Oman with D/L looking for suitable position, NOC available.
Contact 94425942 Email:
MBA Indian male 2.5 yrs exp
in marketing & sales presently
on visit visa seeking immediate
placement. contact :91725539.
Email: suhailahmad1489@gmail.
Indian marketing & sales professional for automobile, hotel &
retail with over 7 years experience
Indian & us on visit & seeking
change/ suitable placement.
Contact: 99454425
27 years old male MBA Graduate having 1.5 years experience
in Marketing seeking for good
opportunities in sales & marketing.
Contact: 90572132
Sales & Marketing Executive MBA
with 3 years experience in sales
looking for suitable placement.
Contact: 91345727.
MBA Graduate (Indian) 2 years
experience in Auto sales & marketing looking for suitable job in
automatic industry.
Contact: 94676974
Indian male 22 BBA Graduate one
year experience in Oman with valid Oman driving license looking for
a placement. Contact: 96357787

Indian 15 yrs Marketing exp with

visa D/L looking for senior job.
Contact: 90390862
Indian male, MBA Marketing
having 2.5 years Sales experience
immediately looking for a suitable
position. Contact: 91415145,
Sales Coordinator, BBA MBA
(pursuing) tally on valid visa in
Oman. Contact : 98269281
MBA graduate having 6 years exp
in Sales & Marketing, 4 years with
PEPSI, India, having international
driving license permit seeks suitable
placement. Cont : 95308167,
Email :
Assistant Purchase Manager experience 9 years at Oman in Construction Company skills driving license.
Contact: 98894178
5 years experience in Sales
currently looking for a placement.
Contact: 93458869
30 yr old experienced available
with NOC & Oman driving license
6+years experience in chemicals
Industry. Contact: 96675065
B.Com male 2 yrs experience in
sales Computer knowledge,
seeking suitable placement.
Contact: 98371144

Mason, SH / carpenter, steel tter
gulf & Indian exp looking job.
Contact: 95175192

Instrumentation & controls
Technician with 2-3 years
experience preferably in water
sector and having valid driving
license call Ph:+968 99450811
Send CV to

Searching a land surveyor job
fully know latest instrument of
Survey GPS and Total station two
year OMAN experience.NOC Available. Contact +96894144052,
Email- wasifnaz
Indian male experienced material
segregation with D/L seeks suitable placement. Contact: 92715032
Email: santhoshgeorge99@gmail.

Indian male M. Com 10 years of
experience looking for Part time
Job can do nalization Contact
97433387 or thodaforme@gmail.
Indian male 25yr B. Com 4
years experience in trading and
contracting eld in India looking
for suitable accountant vacancies.
Please contact 96155921 or

Room , B/Room & Kitchen for

Executive in Wadi Kabir.
Contact: 99336206
Furnished room available for
executive bachelor in Ruwi area.
Contact: 99054542
Furnished room available with
attached bath & balcony near MBD.
Contact: 97636432

Indian male looking job part time

driver. Contact: 93884951

New 1BHK fully furnished for

R.O 275/- at Wadi Kabir near
Al Hassan. Contact: 92577929

Indian male 34 Yrs., Dual MBA

Finance and marketing With
IT skills, 7+ yrs. of experience,
looking for suitable placement.
Contact: 94879615,
Indian male BE, (ECE) 18 months
experience in Telecom Sector as
installation and Commissioning
Engineer, troubleshooting
the bts, 3G and LTE equipments
currently on visit.
Contact: 95183497
27,male,ACCA nalist, have
professional experience up to nalization of accounts, statutory and
internal audit, expertise in using
tally, focus and oracle software,
have 3.5 years experience in accounts till nalization ,seeking for
permanent replacement in senior
position, GSM-91324962,
Chief Accountant , 7 years
experienced (out of 25 years
experience in accounts) worked
in reputed group companies. Currently procuring MBA nance and
having Omani Driving License
seeks suitable openings from
reputed companies.
Contact : 95598477 / 98803439
Female 5 years experienced Oman
as Senior Accountant. SKILLS :
GSM # 95483804 / 9986 8330.
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Special Supplement by






India keen to further strengthen

strategic partnership with Oman
To mark Indias 67th

IT industry
booming in India

Republic Day, Indra

Mani Pandey, Indian
Ambassador to Oman,


to grow from strength

India remains
committed to
nurturing and
expanding its
strategic partnership
with Oman by
enhancing existing
cooperation and
identifying new areas
for collaboration

to strength

Indra Mani Pandey

thanked the Omani

government and
its people for their
continued cooperation
and hospitality and
hoped that Indo-Omani

A key driver of
growth in India



Global leader
in the making

relations will continue

n the occasion of the

67th Republic Day
of India, I extend my
heartiest congratulations and felicitations to all Indians and Persons of
Indian Origin (PIOs) living in the
Sultanate of Oman.
I express my thanks and gratitude
to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin
Said Al Said and his government for
looking after the large, diverse, highly accomplished and respected Indian community in Oman. I also wish
good health, peace and prosperity to
our Omani brothers and sisters and
thank them for the care and warmth

Ambassador of India
they have shown towards the Indian
residents in Oman. I am condent
that my fellow citizens in Oman will
continue to work with diligence and
dedication, making a valuable contribution to the development and
prosperity of Oman.
Republic Day is an occasion for
us to pay our respects and homage
to all those who laid down their
lives for Indias independence.
It is also an occasion to express
our gratitude to the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and to our
leaders, who laid the foundation
of a democratic and secular India,
framed its constitution and built


Healthcare industry
set to experience
exponential growth
Indias healthcare sector is on the cusp of rapid growth
as it taps further into the medical tourism potential and
ramps up its healthcare infrastructure through increased
public-private partnership
HEALTHCARE has become one
of Indias largest sectors, both in
terms of revenue and employment. It comprises hospitals,
medical devices, clinical trials,
outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and
medical equipment. The Indian
healthcare sector is growing at a
brisk pace due to strengthening
coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public, as well
private players.
The Indian healthcare delivery
system is categorized into two
major componentspublic and
private. The Government, i.e. the
public healthcare system comprises of limited secondary and
tertiary care institutions in key
cities and focuses on providing
basic healthcare facilities in the
form of primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in rural areas. The
private sector provides a majority
of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros, Tier
I and Tier II cities.
Indias competitive advantage lies in its large pool of welltrained medical professionals.
India is also cost competitive,
compared with its peers in
Asian and Western countries.
The cost of surgery in India is
about a tenth of that what it
costs in the United States or
Western Europe.
Market size
The overall Indian healthcare
market is worth US$100 billion
and is expected to grow to US$ 280
billion by 2020, reecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 22.9 per cent.

Sector growth steady
and strong
Strength lies in Indias vast
pool of trained medical
Cost competitiveness,
compared with Western
countries, provides
extra edge
Healthcare sector size
expected to grow by 22.9
per cent to $280 billion
by 2020
Medical tourism industry
value to double to $6 billion
by 2018

Healthcare delivery, which includes hospitals, nursing homes

and diagnostics centres, and pharmaceuticals, constitutes 65 per
cent of the overall market.
There is signicant scope for
enhancing healthcare services
spending as a percentage of GDP
is rising. Rural India, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the
population, is set to emerge as a
potential demand source.
India requires 600,000 to
700,000 additional beds over the
next ve to six years, indicative
of an investment opportunity of
US$25 to 30 billion. Given this
demand for capital, the number
of transactions in the healthcare
space is expected to witness a surge

in near future. The average investment size of private equity funds

in healthcare chains has already
increased to US$20 to 30 million
from US$5 to 15 million.
The value of the Indian medical tourism industry is pegged
at US$3 billion per annum, with
tourist arrivals estimated at
230,000. The Indian medical
tourism industry is expected to
be valued at US$6 billion by 2018,
with the number of people arriving in the country for medical
treatment set to double over the
next four years.
Hospitals and diagnostic centres
attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$3.14 billion
between April 2000 and June 2015,
according to data released by the
Department of Industrial Policy and
Promotion (DIPP).
Some of the major investments
in the Indian healthcare industry
are as follows:
Mylan Inc. signed a deal to acquire the female health care
businesses of Famy Care Ltd., a
specialty womens health care
company, for US$750 million in
cash and additional contingent
payments of up to US$50 million.
Apollo Hospitals Enterprise
(AHEL) plans to add another 2,000
beds over the next two nancial
years, at a cost of around Rs 1,500
crore (US$225.28 million).
Malaysia-based IHH Healthcare
Berhad has agreed to buy 73.4
per cent stake in Global Hospitals Group, Indias fourth-largest
healthcare network, for Rs 1,284
crore US$192.84 million.
Continue to Page 16 >

its noble and enduring institutions.

Since India became a Republic 66
years ago, it has made tremendous
progress. Today, India is the largest
democracy in the world; with over
1.25 billion people working together to build a better future to full
their aspirations. Our economy is
growing at a pace of over 7 per cent.
Our scientic and technological
achievements, in key areas, such
as space, nuclear energy, information technology, biotechnology
and pharmaceuticals, are globally
recognised. Yet, we also face monumental challenges in achieving our
goal of sustainable and inclusive

development, including education,

health and employment for all. The
67th Republic Day is, therefore, yet
another occasion for us to rededicate ourselves to working for the
welfare of people of India. I invite
the Indian community in Oman to
contribute to the success of various
initiatives adopted by the Government of India, such as Make in India, Clean India, Digital India,
and Skill India etc.
Inspired by their centuries old
civilisational and historical links,
India and Oman have expanded and
deepened their cooperation and exchanges, since the establishment

of diplomatic relations in 1955,

forging a mutually benecial partnership, which is characterised as
strategic in its nature and expanse.
Indias relations with Oman are
anchored in their shared interests
and mutual understanding of and
respect for each others priorities,
concerns and sensitivities. Regular high-level visits and exchanges
have been a key feature of this partnership. India remains committed to nurturing and expanding its
strategic partnership with Oman
by enhancing existing cooperation
and identifying new areas for bilateral, regional and global collaboration, with a view to full the aspirations for our two countries.
The year 2015 marked the 60th
Anniversary or Diamond Jubilee
of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between our two countries. The visit of the External Affairs Minister of India in February
2015 heralded the commencement
of a series of events to commemorate the 60th Anniversary in a betting manner. While a number
of economic and cultural events
were held, I would like to highlight
the Joint Voyage of INS Tarangini
and Shabab Oman from Muscat to
Cochin in November and December 2015, tracing the trading route,
which sailors from India and
Oman followed for centuries. The
visit of four ships of the Western
Fleet of Indian Navy in September 2015 to Muscat was another
important commemorative event.
A special stamp to commemorate
the landmark 60th anniversary is
also being issued.
Continue to Page 4 >



Booming IT industry
makes India a hub of
global technology
innovation, start-ups
While its outsourcing prowess placed Indias Information Technology
(IT) industry on the global map, the sector is now using that advantage to
become a hub of global technology innovation and to fund tech start-ups

ndia is the worlds largest outsourcing destination for the Information

Technology (IT) industry,
accounting for approximately 67 per cent of the $124 to
130 billion market.
The industry employs a 10 million-strong workforce. More importantly, it has led the economic
transformation of the country and
altered the perception of India in
the global economy.
Indias cost competitiveness in
providing IT services, which is approximately three to four times
cheaper than the United States,
continues to be the mainstay of its
unique selling proposition (USP) in
the global sourcing market. However, India is also gaining prominence
in terms of intellectual capital with
several global IT rms setting up
their innovation centres in India.
The IT industry has also created
signicant demand in the Indian
education sector, especially for engineering and computer science.
The Indian IT and ITeS industry is
divided into four major segments
IT services, Business Process
Management (BPM), software
products and engineering services,
and hardware.
The IT-BPM sector in India
grew at a Compound Annual
Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent

India is the topmost outsourcing destination for IT
companies across the world
Cost competitiveness
remains major strength of
Indias IT sector
India is the fourth largest
base for new businesses in
the world
Major boost to education
sector, demand for engineering and computer
Internet economy to be
worth $151.6 billion by 2018,
accounting for 5% of GDP
IT-BPM sector in India estimated to expand to $300
billion by 2020
India has third largest internet user base in the world,
reaching over 350 million
by June 2015
Indian e-commerce industry
is expected to reach $100
billion size in ve years

over 2010 to 2015, which is three to

four times higher than the global
IT-BPM spend, and is estimated to
expand at a CAGR of 9.5 per cent to
$300 billion by 2020.
India, the fourth largest base
for new businesses in the world
and home to over 3,100 technology start-ups, is set to increase its
base to 11,500 tech start-ups by
2020, as per a report by Nasscom
and Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Indias internet economy is expected to touch $151.6 billion by
2018, accounting for 5 per cent of
the countrys gross domestic product (GDP), according to a report
by the Boston Consulting Group
(BCG) and Internet and Mobile
Association of India (IAMAI). Indias internet user base reached
over 350 million by June 2015, the
third largest in the world, while the
number of social media users grew
to 143 million by April 2015 and
smartphones grew to 160 million.
Public cloud services revenue
in India is expected to reach $838
million in 2015, growing by 33 per
cent year-on-year (y-o-y), as per
a report by Gartner Inc. In yet another Gartner report, the public
cloud market alone in the country
is estimated to treble to $1.9 billion
by 2018, from $638 million in 2014.
Increased penetration of inter-


net (including in rural areas) and

the rapid emergence of e-commerce are the main drivers for
continued growth of data centre
co-location and the hosting market
in India.
The Indian IT sectors core competencies and strengths have attracted signicant investment from
major countries. The computer
software and hardware sector in
India attracted cumulative foreign
direct investment (FDI) inows,
worth $17.575 billion between
April 2000 and May 2015, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The private equity (PE) deals
increased the number of mergers
and acquisitions (M&A), especially in the e-commerce space
in 2014. The IT space, including
e-commerce, witnessed 240 deals
worth $3.8 billion in 2014, as per
data from Dealogic.
India also saw a 10-fold increase
in the venture funding for internet
companies in 2014, compared with
2013. More than 800 internet startups got funding in 2014, compared


with 200 in 2012, said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India Pvt. Ltd. and Chairman, IAMA.
About 554 start-ups received
funding in 2015, compared with 342
last year. Seed and venture capital funds made investments worth
US$3.4 billion this year, three times
the investment made last year. VC
funding in the IT and ITes sector
amounted to 55 per cent of total VC
funding made this year.
Most large technology companies looking to expand have so far
focused primarily on bigger enterprises, but a report from market
research rm Zinnov highlighted
that small and medium businesses
will present a lucrative opportunity worth US$11.6 billion in 2015,
which is expected to grow to $25.8
billion in 2020.
Moreover, India has nearly 51
million such businesses, of which
12 million have a high degree of
technology inuence and are looking to adopt newer IT products, as
per the report.
Some of the major developments
in the Indian IT and ITeS sector are
as follows:
A recent study by research rm
International Data Corporation

(IDC) suggested that India may

soon be able to catch up with global technology trends that have
disrupted enterprises, industry
and the way consumers behave
and transact.
Wipro has won a $400 million,
multi-year IT infrastructure
management contract from Swiss
engineering giant ABB, making it
the largest deal for the technology
Reliance is building a 650,000
square feet (sq ft) data centre
in Indiaits 10th data centre in
the countrywith a combined
capacity of about 1 million sq
ft and an overall investment of
$200 million.
Intel Corp plans to invest about
$62 million in 16 technology
companies, working on wearable,
data analytics and the Internet
of Things (IoT), in 2015 through
its investment arm Intel Capital. The Indian IoT industry is
expected be worth US$15 billion
and to connect 28 billion devices
to the internet by 2020.
Wipro announced in July its plan
to acquire Designit, a global strategic design rm from Denmark
for US$94 million.
The Maharashtra government
has received a proposal worth
$682 million investment from
global investment and advisory
rm Blackstone. The proposed
investment will be made at various places like IT parks in Pune,
Central Mumbai, among others.
Indian e-commerce industry is
expected to grow at a CAGR of
35 per cent to reach $100 billion
size in the next ve years, as per a
study by Assocham-PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Continue to Page 8 >




India keen to further strengthen strategic partnership with Oman

Economic and commercial relations between

India and Oman remain buoyant. Bilateral trade has continued to grow.
Bilateral investment ows are robust, as reected in numerous joint
ventures, established both in India
and Oman. Indian business entities
have emerged as prime investors
in Oman. More than 2,900 IndoOmani joint ventures have been established. Numerous Indian rms
have established their presence and
gained a reputation for excellence
in sectors, such as construction and
engineering, waste management, logistics, manufacturing, nance and
capital, software solutions, IT, communications, oil and gas etc. The
India-Oman Joint Investment Fund
has been operational and the initial
corpus of $100 million has been
fully utilized. The next tranche with
an increased corpus of around $300
million is being put in place.
Maritime links between India
and Oman, since the Indus Valley

Civilisation, have been a dening

feature of the historical ties between the two countries. It is, therefore, only natural that rich and diverse people-to-people contact and
exchanges have become a key feature of contemporary India-Oman
relations. The ITEC Programme,
which provides vocational training
and skills upgradation, has gained
popularity in Oman. Keeping in
mind our exceptionally close bilateral relations, the Government of
India has enhanced the number of
ITEC scholarships for Oman to 150
for the period starting April 1, 2015
to March 31, 2016.
A notable feature of the peopleto-people contact between India
and Oman during recent times has
been the increasing tourist ow to
Incredible India from Oman. India is dotted with rich cultural and
historical sites. It is endowed with
exceptional natural beauty, such as
rushing rivers, lofty snow-capped
mountains, green plains, mystic

deserts, serene backwaters etc. It is

blessed with incredible cultural diversity, expressed in diverse attires,
languages, customs, crafts, festivals and cuisines. Naturally, it has
emerged as a coveted tourist destination for Omanis, which is evident
in the growth of the number of visas
issued by the Embassy, reaching
over 95,216 in 2015, compared with
59,000 in 2013. In recent years, India has also emerged as a preferred
destination for medical and wellness tourism, with numerous Omanis choosing India for their medical
treatment at various state-of-theart hospitals.
The vibrant Indian community
has been preserving and promoting
Indian arts and culture in Oman.
The Indian Embassy in Muscat has
been providing support to various
community organisations, including Indian Social Clubs, its various branches and linguistic wings,
which are engaged in providing
social services and organizing

Dont litter a
beautiful country
like OMAN.
Ensure proper disposal of garbage.

Over 1.25 billion Indians
working together to build
a better future
Economy set to grow
at an annual rate of over
7 per cent
Indian community in Oman
invited to take part in
several initiatives by the
Government of India
2015 marked the 60th
Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between Oman
and India
Bilateral trade continues
to grow. Close to 100,000
Omanis visited India in 2015

cultural events. The embassy has

also been extending its support to
19 Indian Schools in Oman, which
are providing quality education to
Indian children.
The Indian Embassy remains
committed to catering to the needs
of the Indian community in Oman
through its community welfare services and to provide, in an efficient
and time bound manner, various
passport and consular services.
The embassy has made efforts to
reach out to the Indian community living in other cities and distant camps. It has been extending
help to Indian workers through its
free bi-weekly legal sessions and
monthly open houses. The embassy
has also set up a 24-hour helpline
service for Indian workers in distress and will continue to provide
requisite assistance to Indian nationals in distress, including nancial assistance. I hope that MigCall App, which was launched on
January 1, will enable the embassy

to better connect with the Indian

community in Oman. The embassy
shall also continue to make efforts
towards improving the living conditions of Indian workers in Oman
in consultation and coordination
with the Government of Oman.
On this auspicious 67th Republic Day, I once again extend warm
greetings to my fellow citizens in
Oman and thank them for their
contribution to Indias economic
growth and development. I am
looking forward to continued cooperation of the Government and the
people of Oman to further deepen
and diversify our excellent bilateral
relations and strategic partnership
with Oman. I hope that the Indian
community in Oman will continue
to extend its cooperation with the
Indian Embassy, enabling us to deliver various services to the community in an efficient and timely manner. I wish to remain in close and
sustained contact with the Indian
community in Oman. Indra Mani Pandey



Advantages of Skill India

The Skill India programme aims to expand on outreach, equity and access of education and
training. The government therefore provides holistic sustenance through all its initiatives in the
form of necessary nancial support, infrastructure support and policy support

fter Digital India

and Make in India
launched Skill India on the occasion of the rst-ever World Youth
Skills Day on July, 15 2015. This
is a revised version of programmes
launched earlier under the skill development policy.
India has gradually evolved as a
knowledge-based economy due to
the abundance of capable, flexible
and qualified human capital. With
the constantly rising influence of
globalization, India has immense
opportunities to establish its distinctive position in the world.
However, there is a need to further develop and empower the human capital to ensure the nations
global competiveness.
Despite the emphatic stress laid
on education and training in this
country, there is still a shortage of
skilled manpower to address the
mounting needs and demands of
the economy.
As an immediate necessity that
has urgently arisen from the current scenario, the government is
dedicatedly striving to initiate and
achieve formal/informal skill development of the working population via education/vocational
education/skill training and other
upcoming learning methods.
The skill development of the
working population is a priority for the government. The Skill
India programme aims to expand
on outreach, equity and access of
education and training, which it
has aimed to full by establishing
several industrial training institutes (ITIs), vocational schools,
technical schools, polytechnics
and professional colleges to facilitate adult leaning, apprenticeships, sector-specic skill development, e-learning, training for
self-employment and other forms
of training. The government there-

fore provides holistic sustenance

through all its initiatives in the
form of necessary nancial support, infrastructure support and
policy support.
India has the advantage of the
demographic dividend (younger
population compared to the ageing population of developed countries), which can be cultivated to
build a skilled workforce in the
near future. A need for intensive efforts in achieving the skilling target
of 500 million workers by 2022 exists. However, the good news is that
a sense of realism and realization
has evolved among both the government and private sector, which
will lead the country toward further economic prosperity through
their pooled endeavors.
Features of Skill India
The emphasis is to skill the
youths in such a way that they get
employment and also improve entrepreneurship.
Provides training, support and
guidance for all occupations that
were of traditional type like carpenters, cobblers, welders, blacksmiths, masons, nurses, tailors,
weavers etc.
More emphasis will be given on
new areas like real estate, construction, transportation, textile,
gem industry, jewellery designing, banking, tourism and various
other sectors, where skill development is inadequate or nil.
The training programmes would
be on the lines of international level so that the youths of our country
can not only meet the domestic
demands but also of other countries like the US, Japan, China,
Germany, Russia and those in the
West Asia.
Another remarkable feature of the
Skill India programme would be
to create a hallmark called Rural
India Skill, so as to standardise
and certify the training process.

Tailor-made, need-based programmes would be initiated for

specic age groups which can be
like language and communication
skills, life and positive thinking
skills, personality development
skills, management skills, behavioural skills, including job and employability skills.
The course methodology of
Skill India would be innovative, which would include games,
group discussions, brainstorming sessions, practical experiences, case studies etc.


Skill development of
the working population
is a priority for the
Government wants to open
up avenues by which the
youth accepts responsibility and no one remains idle
Every job aspirant would
be given training in soft
skills to lead a proper
and decent life
India has the advantage
of the demographic
A need exists for intensive
efforts in achieving the
skilling target of 500
million workers by 2022

Advantages of Skill India

The idea is to raise condence,
improve productivity and give
direction through proper skill development. Skill development will
enable the youths to get blue-collar
jobs. Development of skills, at an
young age, right at the school level, is very essential to channelise
them for proper job opportunities. There should be a balanced
growth in all the sectors and all
jobs should be given equal importance. Every job aspirant would be
given training in soft skills to lead
a proper and decent life. Skill development would reach the rural
and remote areas also. Corporate
educational institutions, non-government organizations, Government, academic institutions, and
society would help in the development of skills of the youths so that
better results are achieved in the
shortest time possible.
What shape Skill India will take
and what it will do only time can
tell. But no doubt it seems to be a
good initiative providing skills to
people, especially because India is
one of the few countries all across
the world whose working age population will be very high, few years
down the line, going by its everincreasing growth of population, as
per the World Bank.
It is also high time now measures
are taken to improve the physical and mental development of the
youths of the country so that none
of them remains unemployed and
the countrys unemployment problem also gets reduced. It is time
to open up avenues by which the
youth accepts responsibility and
no one remains idle because an idle
youth is a burden to the economy.
The economy should concentrate
on job creation and social security
schemes. With this new approach
towards skill development, India
can denitely move forward towards its targeted results.



Transforming India through

vital Smart Cities Initiative

he steady pace of
growth is corresponding to migration towards urban
areas, leading experts to predict
that the worlds urban population
will double by 2050. In India, the
urban population is currently 31
per cent of the total global population and contributes over 60 per
cent to the GDP of the country. The
cities are referred to as the drivers
of economic growth.
It is expected that three-fourths
of Indians will live in cities by 2030.
Large scale urbanisation means
cities must be equipped with a coping mechanism to manage inux
from rural areas, increase productivity and efficiency, reduce strain
on resources and improve the quality of life. In short, cities must become smart.
Transforming cities
With its urban population set to rise
by more than 400 million to 814 million by 2050, India faces the kind
of mass urbanisation witnessed in
China. Many of its cities are already
bursting at the seams. Ahead of the
General Elections last May, Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
promised 100 Smart Cities by 2022
to accommodate rapid urbanisation.
What exactly is a Smart City?
The intersection between competitiveness, capital and sustainability
is what makes a city capable of giving a quality of life to its inhabitants. According to the Smart Cities
website of the Ministry of Urban
Development, Government of India
( The Smart
Cities should be able to provide
good infrastructure such as water,
sanitation, reliable utility services,
health care; attract investments;
transparent processes that make it
easy to run commercial activities;
simple and online processes for obtaining approvals.

Smart Cities Council India has been
formed to promote development of
Smart Cities in the country. It is part
of the US-based Smart Cities Council, a consortium of smart city practitioners and experts, with 100-plus
members and advisor organisations
operating in over 140 countries. The
mission of building 100 Smart Cities intends to promote adoption of
smart solutions for efficient use of
available resources and infrastructure with the objective of enhancing
the quality of urban life and providing a clean and sustainable environment. The initiative could get a
boost with a template readied by the
European Union.
The Union Government plans to
spend INR480 billion on creating
these Smart Cities over the next
ve years. For now, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT),
the rst such model city, has modern underground infrastructure and
two office blocks and there is a plan
in place for a planned metropolis,
complete with highrises, drinking
water, automated waste collection
and dedicated power supply. GIFT
promises to be a nancial hub and
aims to compete with Indias own
nancial capital of Mumbai and international cities.
Technology helps maximise utilisation of resources by leveraging
data collected from sensors, controls and real time data analytics.
It can be used to improve key segments like buildings which consume 40 per cent of all energy in
India as well as utilities, healthcare,
governance, transportation and
education. In fact, in cities such as
Dholera and Surat in the west and
Visakhapatnam in the east, aid from
organisations such as Microsoft,
IBM and Cisco has already started
coming in to assist this massive
makeover exercise.
Recently, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee shared that

her government would develop seven Smart Cities in the state which
would have all modern facilities for
decent living. These Smart Cities
will come up near Siliguri, near Gazol in Malda district, near Kalyani in
Nadia district, near Bolpur in Birbhum district, near the industrial
towns of Asansol-Durgapur covering
Churulia, birthplace of Kazi Nazrul
Islam, near Garia in the southern
outskirts of Kolkata and the near the
state secretariat Nabanna.
Thus, Smart Cities and rejuvenation of cities will not only lay out the
path for more livable cities but provide the required growth engine for
the Indian economy.
Benchmarks for Smart Cities
Maximum travel time of 30 minutes in small and medium size cities and 45 minutes in metropolitan areas.
Dedicated and physically segregated bicycle tracks with a width
of 2m or more, one in each direction, should be provided on all
streets with carriageway larger
than 10m (not ROW).
High quality and high frequency
mass transport within 800m (1015 minute walking distance) of all
residences in areas over 175 persons / ha of built area.
Access to para-transit within
300m walking distance.
100% households have electricity
24x7 supply of electricity.
100% metering of electricity supply.
100% recovery of cost.
Tariff slabs that work towards
minimising waste.
Healthcare facilities
Availability of telemedicine facilities to 100% residents.
30 minutes emergency response

1 dispensary for every 15,000

Nursing home, child, welfare and
maternity, centre - 25 to 30 beds
per 100,000 population.
Intermediate Hospital (Category
B) - 80 beds per lakh population.
Intermediate Hospital (Category
A) - 200 beds per lakh population.
Multi-SpecialityHospital - 200
beds per lakh population.
General Hospital - 500 beds per
lakh population.
Telephone connections
100% households have a telephone
connection including mobiles.
Spatial planning
95% of residences should have
daily needs such as retail, parks,
primary schools and recreational
areas accessible within 400m
walking distance.
95% residences should have access to employment and public
and institutional services by public transport or bicycle or walk.

The mission of building

100 Smart Cities intends
to promote adoption
of smart solutions
for efficient use of
available resources and
infrastructure with the
objective of enhancing
the quality of urban
life and providing a
clean and sustainable

Solid waste management

100% households are covered by
daily doorstep collection system.
100% collection of municipal solid
100% recycling of solid waste.
Pre primary to secondary education
Pre Primary/ Nursery School for
every 2,500 residents.
Primary school (class I to V) for
every 5,000 residents.
Senior secondary School (Class VI
to XII) for every 7,500 residents.
Integrated school (Class I to XII)
per lakh of population.
Higher education
College per 1.25 lakh population.
Technical education centre per 10
lakh population.
Engineering college per 10 lakh

Medical college per 10 lakh population.

Other professional college per 10
lakh population.
Paramedical institute per 10 lakh
Sewerage and sanitation
100% households should have access to toilets.
100% schools should have separate toilets for girls.
100% households should be connected to waste water network.
100% efficiency in the collection
and treatment of waste water.
100% efficiency in the collection
of sewerage network.
Water supply
24 x 7 supply of water.
100% household with direct water
supply connections.
135 litres of per capita supply of
100% metering of water connections.
Storm water drainage
100% coverage of road network
with storm water drainage network.
Aggregate number of incidents
of water logging reported a year =
100% rainwater harvesting.
Wi-Fi connectivity
100% wi- connectivity.
100 Mbps internet speed.
Fire ghting
1 re station per 2 lakh population
/ 5-7 km radium.
1 sub-re station with 3-4 km radius.
Use of renewable energy in all sectors.
Rooftop solar panels on all public, institutional and commercial
buildings as well as multistoreyed
residential housing.
Adherence to green building
norms. Courtesy: India Perspectives




Spectacular skiing
destination in the
Rave reviews by the likes of Warren Miller, a noted lmmaker, gave
Gulmarg the necessary morale booster to come up as a world-class ski
destination. Millers movie, Off the Grid, on Gulmarg has given it
a further push in the international tourism market

he hills of Indian-administered Kashmir

Valley are alive with
the sound of fun and
laughter this winter.
When the snowakes fall and the
leafy green slopes are painted white,
thousands head to Jammu and
Kashmirs Gulmarg area for skiing,
heliskiing and for sheer pleasure.
It is a state often in the news for
its frequent clashes with militancy,
but the story is different these
days. While Whistler/Blackcomb
in British Columbia, Kitzbhel in
Austria and Zermatt in Switzerland enjoy their top ranking as the
worlds best skiing resorts, Gulmarg with its natural slopes is not
too far behind.
Come winter and the Pir Panjal
range in Gulmarg, about 50 km from
Srinagar, the summer capital of the
state, is the ideal spot for skiing and
other winter sports. Its white slopes
also beckon nature enthusiasts by
the hundreds.
The resort town is referred to as
the jewel in the crown of skiing destinations in the Himalayas and has
been the delightful setting for thousands of skiers every year.
Located at the western edge of the
Himalayas, the Pir Panjals are the
rst mountains hit by the western and southwestern storms and
therefore get the greater part of the
winter snowfall that enables the

state to become a hot destination

when the chill sets in.
On offer is not just skiing but
also ice-skating and snowboarding.
The other activities like night iceskating, snow making competition,
sledge races, snow scooter races and
snow rugby.
The season begins shortly before
Christmas and goes on till the end of
March when the snow begins to melt.
Heli-skiing is a major attraction.
It involves being dropped by a helicopter on a snow-covered peak and
then skiing down the slopes. If the
Kashmir tourism department is
to be believed, Kashmir is considered the best option for heliskiers after Canada.
Other activities in Gulmarg in-

clude cross-country skiing and ice

hockey on the frozen surface of an
articial lake.
Gulmarg, which was established
in 1927 by two British army officers
who set up the rst skiing club in the
resort, is the high- est lift-served ski
resort in India.
It also boasts of the worlds highest gondola cable car, ascending to
4,390 metres. The construction of
the cable car with a mind-numbing
vertical rise that ascends to the
Apharwat Peak was completed
in 2005. The six-seat cabin zips
through thick pine forests all the
way up to the Apharwat Peak in
about half-an-hour.
Besides its snow covered expanse, Gulmarg is a great place to

visit in the summers and also has

other attractions.
A big attraction is the Rani temple situated on a small hillock in the
centre of Gulmarg and can be seen
from all corners of the town. It was
built by Mohini Bai Sisodhia, the
wife of the erstwhile ruler of Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh (the last
king of Kashmir) in 1915.
St. Marys church is older and
dates back to 1897. In 2003, the
church was given a new look with
a renovated faade and the rst
Christmas mass in 14 years was held
that year.
Perched upon a hill, the church
has been witness to many tournaments in the Gulmarg golf course,
one of the highest in the world. The

rst tournament was played in 1922.

The 18th hole of Gulmarg Golf Club,
a par ve, is a downhill travel from
St. Marys Church to the clubhouse,
a drop of 300 feet.
After years of strife, tourism is returning to Kashmir and to Gulmarg
as well, giving people hope for a better tomorrow.
About 3,000 skiers from Canada,
Australia, Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and China visited the ski resort
last year. According to officials, the
gure is expected to touch10,000
this year.
Gulmarg is literally like our
mother. It earns us food. Its scenic
beauty solaces us whenever we are
dispirited, says Shabeer Ahmed
Wani, who is a ski instructor and

has participated in many national

and international events.
Ghulam Mohammed Lone, a
sledge owner, is equally upbeat.
Its always good to host so many
guests. The earnings get multiplied
manifold with more and more tourists visiting here, he said, while pulling a couple on their honeymoon.
Hotelier Zahid Khan hosts around
1,200 guests in his three- star hotel
in the weeks around Christmas and
New Year.
It seems Gulmarg is gaining the
desired popularity even though one
strongly feels its potential as a world
class ski resort has not yet been realized to the full.
Bolstered by the increasing
number of winter sports lovers, the
state government is mulling over
the idea of holdinga winter sports
event in Gulmarg.
The rst national winter games
were held in Gulmarg in 1998 and it
has been the venue for winter sport
festivals since.
Rave reviews by the likes of Warren Miller, a noted lmmaker, gave
Gulmarg the necessary morale
booster to come up as a world-class
ski destination. Millers movie, Off
the Grid, on Gulmarg has given it
a further push in the international
tourism market.
And life is looking up for the people who have lived here in this snowy
slopes of Kashmir for so long.



Tourism & hospitality industry:

A key driver of
growth in India
Tourism in India has signicant potential considering the rich cultural and
historical heritage, variety in ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty
spread across the country. It is also a potentially large employment generator
besides being a signicant source of foreign exchange for the country

he Indian tourism and

hospitality industry
has emerged as one
of the key drivers of
growth among the
services sector in India. The thirdlargest sub-segment of the services
sector comprising trade, repair services, hotels and restaurants contributed nearly $187.9 billion or 12.5 per
cent to the Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) in 2014-15, while growing the
fastest at 11.7 per cent Compound
Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over
the period 2011-12 to 2014-15.

Market Size
The number of Foreign Tourist
Arrivals (FTAs) has grown steadily in the last three years reaching
around 4.48 million during JanuaryJuly 2015. Foreign exchange
earnings (FEEs) from tourism in
terms of US dollar grew by 3.2 per
cent during January-July 2015
as compared to 1.9 per cent over
the corresponding period of 2013.
FEEs during the month of July
2015 were $1.74 billion as compared to FEEs of $1.57 billion in
July last year.

Foreign Exchange Earnings

(FEEs) between January-July
2015 were $11.41 billion compared
to $11.06 billion in the same period
last year. The growth rate in FEEs
in rupee terms in January-July
2015 was 6.9 per cent.
The tourism and hospitality sector is among the top 15 sectors in
India to attract the highest foreign
direct investment (FDI). During
the period April 2000-May 2015,
this sector attracted around $8.1
billion of FDI, according to the
data released by Department of
Industrial Policy and Promotion
With the rise in the number of
global tourists and realising Indias potential, many companies
have invested in the tourism and
hospitality sector. Some of the recent investments in this sector are
as follows:
Fairfax-owned Thomas Cook has
acquired Swiss tour operator Kuoni
Groups business in India and Hong
Kong for about $85.6 million in order
to scale up inbound tour business.


Booming IT industry makes India a hub

of global technology innovation, start-ups
Some of the major
initiatives taken by
the government to promote the
IT and ITeS sectors in India are
as follows:
The Government of India has
launched the Digital India program to provide several government services to the people, using
IT and to integrate the government departments and the people
of India. The adoption of key technologies across sectors spurred
by the Digital India Initiative
could help boost Indias gross domestic product (GDP) by US$550
billion to US$1 trillion by 2025, as
per research rm McKinsey.
India and the United States have
agreed to jointly explore opportunities for collaboration on implementing Indias ambitious Rs
1.13 trillion (US$18.22 billion)
Digital India Initiative. The two
sides also agreed to hold a meeting of the U.S.-India Information
and Communication Technology
(ICT) Working Group in India
later this year.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani

has launched the National Web

Portal for the promotion of a National Apprenticeship Scheme
for graduates, diploma holders
and 10+2 pass-outs vocational
certicate holders, with a view to
bridge the gap between students
and the industry.
The Government of Telangana
has begun construction of a technology incubator in Hyderabad
dubbed T-Hub to reposition the
city as a technology destination.
The state government is initially
investing $5.3 million to set up
a 60,000 sq ft space, labelled the
largest start-up incubator in the
county, at the campus of International Institute of Information
Technology-Hyderabad (IIIT-H).
Once completed, the project is
proposed to be the worlds biggest
start-up incubator, housing 1,000
Bengaluru has received $2.6
billion in venture capital (VC)
investments in 2014, making it
the fth largest recipient globally during the year, an indication of the growing vibrancy of
its start-up ecosystem. Among

countries, India received the

third highest VC funding worth
$4.6 billion.
India is the topmost outsourcing destination for IT companies
across the world. Having proven
its capabilities in delivering both
on-shore and off-shore services
to global clients, emerging technologies now offer an entire new
gamut of opportunities for top IT
rms in India.
Social, mobility, analytics and
cloud (SMAC) are collectively expected to offer a $1 trillion opportunity. Cloud represents the largest
opportunity under SMAC, expected to increase at a CAGR of approximately 30 per cent to around $650
to 700 billion by 2020.
The social media is the second
most lucrative segment for IT
rms, offering a $250 billion market opportunity by 2020. The Indian e-commerce segment is $12 billion in size and is witnessing strong
growth and thereby offers another
attractive avenue for IT companies
to develop products and services to
cater to the high growth consumer
segment. Courtesy: IBEF



The Indian government has
taken several steps to make
India a global tourism hub
As many as 4.48 million
tourists visited India during January-July 2015
Foreign Exchange Earnings
(FEEs) between JanuaryJuly 2015 were $11.41 billion
During April 2000-May
2015, tourism & hospitality
sector attracted around $8.1
billion of FDI
Medical tourism market in
India is projected to reach
$3.9 billion this year

US-based Vantage Hospitality Group has signed a franchise

agreement with India-based Miraya Hotel Management to establish its mid-market brands in the
Thai rm Onyx Hospitality and
Kingsbridge India hotel asset management rm have set up a joint
venture (JV) to open seven hotels
in the country by 2018 for which
the JV will raise $100 million.
ITC is planning to invest about
$1.42 billion in the next three to
four years to expand its hotel portfolio to 150 hotels. ITC will launch
ve other hotels - in Mahabalipuram, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Colombo - by 2018.
Goldman Sachs, New-York based
multinational investment banking fund, has invested $40.37 million in Vatika Hotels.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank will lead the $95.6 million
funding round in Gurgaon based
OYO Rooms.
MakeMyTrip will acquire the
travel planning website Mygola
and its assets for an undisclosed
sum, and will together look to focus on innovating the online travel
Government Initiatives
The Indian government has realised
the countrys potential in the tourism
industry and has taken several steps
to make India a global tourism hub.
Some of the major initiatives taken
by the Government of India to give a
boost to the tourism and hospitality
sector of India are as follows:

Government of India plans to

cover 150 countries under e-visa
scheme by the end of the year besides opening an airport in the
NCR region in order to ease the
pressure on Delhi airport.
The Tourist Visa on Arrival
(TVoA) scheme enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation
(ETA), launched by the Government of India on November 27,
2014 for 43 countries has led to
sharp growth in usage of the facility. During the month of July, 2015
a total of 21,476 tourist arrived
on e-Tourist Visa as compared to
2,462 during the month of July,
2014 registering a growth of 772.3
per cent. During January-July,
2015 a total of 1,47,690 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 14,415 during JanuaryJuly, 2014 registering a growth of
924.6 per cent.
The Government of India has set
aside $79.17 million for the rst
phase of the National Heritage
City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY). The 12
cities in the rst phase are Varanasi, Amritsar, Ajmer, Mathura,
Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani,
Badami, Amaravati, Warangal,
Puri and Dwarka.
Under Project Mausam the Government of India has proposed to
establish cross cultural linkages
and to revive historic maritime
cultural and economic ties with
39 Indian Ocean countries.
Road ahead
Indias travel and tourism industry has huge growth potential. The
medical tourism market in India
is projected to reach $3.9 billion
in size this year having grown at a
CAGR of 27 per cent over the last
three years, according to a joint
report by FICCI and KPMG. Also,
inow of medical tourists is expected to cross 320 million by 2015
compared with 85 million in 2012.
The tourism industry is also looking forward to the expansion of Evisa scheme which is expected to
double the tourist inow to India.
Rating agency ICRA Ltd estimates
the revenue growth of Indian hotel
industry strengthening to 9-11 per
cent in 2015-16.
India is projected to be the fastest growing nation in the wellness
tourism sector in the next ve
years, clocking over 20 per cent
gains annually through 2017, according to a study conducted by
SRI International. Courtesy IBEF




Micro, small and medium enterprises

strengthen inclusive growth in India
MSME sector is a
nursery of entrepreneurship, often driven
by individual creativity
and innovation. This
sector is currently contributing 8 per cent of
the countrys GDP,
45 per cent of the
manufactured output
and 40 per cent of
its exports

he micro, small and

medium enterprise
sector is crucial to Indias economy. There
are 30 million enterprises in various industries, employing 69 million people. Together,
these account for 45% of the industrial output and 40% of the exports.
Although 95% of micro, small and
medium enterprise units are informal in nature, the contribution of
the sector to Indias GDP has been
growing consistently at 11% per
annum, higher than overall GDP
growth of 7-8%. Nationwide, Micro, Small and Medium enterprises
(MSMEs) have been acknowledged
as the engine of economic acceleration and for promoting unbiased
progress. The nest benet of this
sector is employment generation for
the development of Indian economy
by increasing of standard of living of
the people. In this background researchers made an attempt to study
the role of small, micro and medium
enterprises in inclusive growth of
Indian economy.
The role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the
economic and social development of
the country is well established. The
MSME sector is a nursery of entre-

preneurship, often driven by individual creativity and innovation.

This sector contributes 8 per cent
of the countrys GDP, 45 per cent
of the manufactured output and 40
per cent of its exports. The MSMEs
provide employment to about 60
million persons through 26 million
enterprises. The labour to capital
ratio in MSMEs and the overall
growth in the MSME sector is much
higher than in the large industries.
The geographic distribution of the
MSMEs is also more even. Thus,
MSMEs are important for the national objectives of growth with equity and inclusion. The micro, small
and medium enterprises (MSME)
sector contributes signicantly to
the manufacturing output, employment and exports of the country. It
is estimated that in terms of value,
the sector accounts for about 45 per
cent of the manufacturing output
and 40 percent of the total exports of
the country. The sector is estimated
to employ about 42 million persons
in over 13 million units throughout
the country. Further, this sector
has consistently registered a higher
growth rate than the rest of the industrial sector. There are over 6000
products ranging from traditional
to high-tech items, which are being

manufactured by the MSMEs in

India. It is well known that the MSMEs provide the maximum opportunities for both self-employment
and jobs after agriculture.
The MSME sector in India is
highly heterogeneous in terms of
the size of the enterprises, variety of
products and services produced and
the levels of technology employed.
While one end of the MSME spectrum contains highly innovative and
high growth enterprises, more than
94 per cent of MSMEs are unregistered, with a large number established in the informal or unorganized
sector. Besides the growth potential
of the sector and its critical role in
the manufacturing and value chains,
the heterogeneity and the unorganized nature of the Indian MSMEs
are important aspects that need to be
factored into policy making and programme implementation.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including khadi and village/rural enterprises are
credited with generating the highest rates of employment growth
and account for a major share of
industrial production and exports.
They also play a key role in the
development of economies with
their effective, efficient, exible


Contribution of the sector

to Indias GDP has been
growing consistently at
11% per annum
MSME sector is estimated to
employ about 42 million persons in over 13 million units
throughout the country
Government of India striving to improve the economic and social conditions
of rural population through
a host of measures
It also supplements the
efforts of the State Governments through various

and innovative entrepreneurial

spirit. The socio-economic policies
adopted by India since the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 have laid stress on
MSMEs as a means to improve the
countrys economic conditions.
The majority of people living in
rural areas draws its livelihood from
agriculture and allied sectors. However, the growth and balanced development of other sectors such as
industry and services is also necessary to sustain the growth of Indian
economy in an inclusive manner.
The Government of India is striving to improve the economic and
social conditions of rural population and non-farm sector through a
host of measures including creation
of productive employment opportunities based on optimal use of local
raw materials and skills as well as
undertaking interventions aimed
at improving supply chain; enhancing skills; upgrading technology; expandingmarkets and capacity building of the entrepreneurs/artisans
and their groups/collectives.
The primary responsibility of
promotion and development of
MSMEs is of the State Governments. However, the Government
of India, supplements the efforts

of the State Governments through

various initiatives. The role of the
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME)
and its organizations is to assist the
States in their efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, employment and livelihood opportunities
and enhance the competitiveness
of MSMEs in the changed economic scenario. The schemes/programmes undertaken by the Ministry and its organizations seek to
Adequate ow of credit from nancial institutions/banks
Support for technology up gradation and modernization
Integrated infrastructural facilities
Modern testing facilities and quality certication
Access to modern management
Entrepreneurship development
and skill up gradation through appropriate training facilities;
Support for product development,
design intervention and packaging
Welfare of artisans and workers
Assistance for better access to domestic and export markets and
Cluster-wise measures to promote capacity-building and empowerment of the units.




Global pharmaceutical leader in the making

The Government of


India Pharma Vision

The $20 billion Indian
pharmaceutical industry is
estimated to grow at 20 per
cent CAGR over the next
ve years

2020 is aimed at
making India a global
leader in end-to-end

Indian pharmaceutical
manufacturing facilities
registered with US FDA
stood at 523 in 2014, highest for any country outside
the US

drug manufacture.
Its pharmaceutical
market size is
expected to grow to

Indias biotechnology industry is expected to reach

$100 billion by 2025

$100 billion by 2025

The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted cumulative FDI inows worth
$13.34 billion between
April 2000 and June 2015

he Indian pharmaceuticals market is the

third largest in terms
of volume and thirteen largest in terms
of value. Branded generics dominate the pharmaceuticals market,
constituting nearly 70 to 80 per cent
of the market. India is the largest
provider of generic drugs globally
with the Indian generics accounting
for 20 per cent of global exports in
terms of volume. Of late, consolidation has become an important characteristic of the Indian pharmaceutical market as the industry is highly
India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals
sector. The country also has a large
pool of scientists and engineers who
have the potential to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level.
The UN-backed Medicines Patents Pool has signed six sub-licences with Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano,
Emcure, Hetero Labs and Laurus
Labs, allowing them to make generic anti-AIDS medicine Tenofovir
Alafenamide (TAF) for 112 developing countries. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is estimated to
grow at 20 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the
next ve years. Presently the market
size of the pharmaceutical industry
in India stands at $20 billion. As on

Hyderabad, known as the

bulk drug capital of India,
accounts for nearly a fth
of Indias exports of drugs,
which stood at $14.3 billion
in 2014-15

March 2014, Indian pharmaceutical

manufacturing facilities registered
with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stood at 523, highest
for any country outside the US.
Indias biotechnology industry
comprising bio-pharmaceuticals,
bio-services, bio-agriculture, bioindustry and bioinformatics is expected to grow at an average growth
rate of around 30 per cent a year and
reach US$100 billion by 2025. Biopharma, comprising vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, is the largest sub-sector contributing nearly
62 per cent of the total revenues at
$1.90 billion.
The Union Cabinet has given its
nod for the amendment of the existing FDI policy in the pharmaceutical
sector in order to allow FDI up to 100
per cent under the automatic route
for manufacturing of medical devices subject to certain conditions.
The drugs and pharmaceuticals

sector attracted cumulative foreign

direct investment (FDI) inows
worth $13.34 billion between April
2000 and June 2015, according to
the Department of Industrial Policy
and Promotion (DIPP).
Some of the major investments
in the Indian pharmaceutical sector
are as follows:
Stelis Biopharma announced
the breakthrough construction of
its customised, multi-product, biopharmaceutical manufacturing
facility at Bio-Xcell Biotechnology
Park in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysias
park and ecosystem for industrial
and healthcare biotechnology at a
total project investment amount of
$60 million.
Strides Arcolab entered into a
licensing agreement with US-based
Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture
and distribute the latters cost-efficient Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF)
product to treat HIV patients in de-

veloping countries. The licence to

manufacture Gileads low-cost drug
extends to 112 countries.
The Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (AHEL) aims to add another
2,000 beds over the next two nancial years, at a cost of around
$226.26 million.
CDC, the UKs development nance institution, invested $48 million in Narayana Hrudayalaya hospitals, a multi-speciality healthcare
provider, with an aim to expand affordable treatment in eastern, central and western India.
Torrent Pharmaceuticals entered into an exclusive licensing
agreement with Reliance Life Sciences for marketing three biosimilars in India Rituximab, Adalimumab and Cetuximab.
Piramal Enterprises Ltd acquired US-based Coldstream Laboratories for $30.6 million in an allcash transaction.

Indian Immunologicals Ltd

plans to set up a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Pondicherry
with an investment of $45.25 million.
SRF Ltd has acquired Global
DuPont Dymel, the pharmaceutical
propellant business of DuPont, for
$20 million.
Marksans Pharmaceuticals acquired US-based Time-Cap Laboratories, a manufacturer and marketer
of solid dose generic pharmaceuticals, including private label overthe-counter medications, generic
prescription drugs and nutritional
Intas Pharmaceuticals is the
rst global company to launch a
biosimilar version of Lucentis, the
worlds largest selling drug for treatment of degenerative eye condition
called Razumab.
The Government of India unveiled Pharma Vision 2020 aimed
at making India a global leader in

end-to-end drug manufacture. Approval time for new facilities has

been reduced to boost investments.
Further, the government introduced
mechanisms such as the Drug Price
Control Order and the National
Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
to deal with the issue of affordability
and availability of medicines.
Some of the major initiatives
taken by the government to promote
the pharmaceutical sector in India
are as follows:
Indian and global companies
have expressed 175 investment intentions worth $150.84 million in
the pharmaceutical sector of Gujarat. The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) would be signed
during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
Telangana has proposed to set
up Indias largest integrated pharmaceutical city spread over 11,000
acres near Hyderabad, complete
with effluent treatment plants and
a township for employees, in a bid
to attract investment of $4.52 billion in phases. Hyderabad, which
is known as the bulk drug capital of
India, accounts for nearly a fth of
Indias exports of drugs, which stood
at $14.3 billion in 2014-15.
The government has planned to
set up $75.4 million venture capital
fund to boost domestic pharmaceutical industry and to provide
cheaper loans to entities looking to
establish or upgrade manufacturing
Minister of Fertiliser and
Chemicals announced that six pharmaceutical parks will be approved
and established this year which
will have sufficient infrastructure
and facilities for testing and treatment of drugs and also for imparting
training to industry professionals.
The Indian pharmaceutical market size is expected to grow to $100
billion by 2025, driven by increasing
consumer spending, rapid urbanisation, and raising healthcare insurance among others. Going forward,
better growth in domestic sales
would also depend on the ability of
companies to align their product
portfolio towards chronic therapies
for diseases like cardiovascular,
anti-diabetes and anti-depressants.




Biotechnology sector set for brisk growth

The biotechnology
sector in India is riding
a signicant growth
wave on the back of
its ourishing biotech
companies and immense talent pool of
professionals trained
in the bio-pharma
sector that are ready
to cater to the surging
global demand for biotechnology products

he biotechnology sector of India is highly

innovative and currently on a strong
growth trajectory. The
sector, with its immense growth potential, will continue to play a significant role as an innovative manufacturing hub. The sector has played a
signicant role in enhancing Indias
global prole, as well as contributing to the growth of its economy.
India is among the top 12 biotech
destinations in the world and ranks
third in the Asia-Pacic region. It
also has the second-highest number
of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)approved plants,
after the United States and is the
largest producer of recombinant
Hepatitis B vaccine. Out of the top
10 biotech companies in India (by
revenue), seven have expertise in
bio-pharmaceuticals and three specialise in agri-biotech.
India has no dearth of talent in
biotechnology, as a number of institutions, both government and
autonomous, provide the necessary
opportunities for students seeking
to obtain a degree in this eld. The
Government of India has provided
adequate scope to this sector by providing facilities for Research and
Development (R&D) in the eld of

The Indian biotech industry

holds a roughly 2 per cent stake in
the global biotech industry, and the
sector, made up of about 800 companies, is growing at an average rate
of about 20 per cent. It is expected to
grow from the current $5 to 7 billion
to $100 billion by 2025.
Biopharma is the largest sector,
contributing about 64 per cent of
the total revenue, followed by bio
services (18 per cent), bioagri (14
per cent), bio-industry (3 per cent),
and bio-informatics, contributing (1
per cent).
The high demand for different
biotech products has also opened up
scope for foreign companies to set
up base in India.
India has emerged as a leading
destination for clinical trials, contract research and manufacturing
activities owing to the growth in the
bio-services sector.
Indias biotech sector has also attracted a signicant amount of attention over the past two decades.
Several global companies have
joined hands with Indian companies due to Indias strong generic
biotechnology potential.
Some of the recent investments
and developments in this sector are
as follows:
Canadas Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics

(CCAB) has partnered with Zydus

Cadilla to manufacture antibodybased cancer treatments.
Shantha Biotechnics Pvt. Ltd. has
started building a facility to manufacture Insuman, an insulin product to treat diabetes. French pharmaceutical company Sano SA,
which acquired Shantha Biotechnics in 2009 through its vaccines
division, Sano Pasteur SA, is
investing Rs 460 crore (US$69.31
million) to build a facility that at
full capacity, will produce 60 million Insuman cartridges annually.
Hyderabad-headquartered vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals Ltd. (IIL), part of
the National Dairy Development
Board, is setting up a new vaccine
manufacturing facility in Puducherry, involving an investment of Rs
300 crore ($45.20 million). This is
the fourth facility for IIL, which
currently has two facilities in Hyderabad and one in Ooty.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Syngene International, the contract
research subsidiary of Biocon,
have announced a ve-year extension for drug discovery and development collaboration in India.
The Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre (BARC) through its Centre for Incubation of Technologies
(BARCIT) has signed a Memo-

India is among top 12 global
biotech destinations, third
in Asia-Pacic
Indian biotech industry
accounts for 2 per cent of
global biotech industry
At an average growth rate
of about 20%, sector is set
to grow to $100 billion by
India has emerged as leading destination for clinical
trials, contract research and
manufacturing activities
Sector attracting considerable foreign direct investment, propped by government initiatives

randum of Understanding (MoU)

with M/s Veena Industries, Nagpur, for incubation of technology
for biodegradable and edible lms
for food and pharmaceuticals
Aurobindo Pharma announced
that its Board of Directors has approved the proposal for setting up

a Joint Venture (JV) with Tergene

Biotech, a vaccine development
company based in India. Tergene
is currently working on the development of the Pneumococcal
Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) through
the use of novel vaccine technology compressing time and cost,
thereby, making such a vaccine
available at an affordable cost.
A network of technology centres
and the promotion of start-ups by
the Small Industries Development
Bank of India (SIDBI) are among
the steps taken by the Government
of India to promote innovation and
entrepreneurship in the agro industry, proposed by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
(MSME) under a new scheme.
The Government of India has
also adopted several initiatives to
improve the biotechnology sector in
the country, as well as offer enough
scope for research in this eld.
The Department of Biotechnology
(DBT), along with other government
funded institutions, such as the National Biotechnology Board (NBTB)
and many other autonomous bodies
representing the biotechnology sector, are working together in order
to project India as a global hub for
biotech research and business excellence. Some of the recent major
initiatives are as follows:

The Government of India aims

to scale-up the number of startups in the biotechnology sector
to 1,500 to 2,000 over next two to
three years, from the current 500.
The Government of India is planning to launch a venture capital
fund of $154.3 million under the
department of pharmaceuticals, to
support start-ups in the research
and development in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.
The Government of Karnataka
plans to raise $7.69 million for a biotechnology-dedicated fund in addition to the existing Semiconductor
fund of $15.39 million in order to
engage with the emerging technology and biotech space in the state.
CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) has signed an MoU with Phyto
Biotech to formalise the transfer of
technology, for production of the
unique autoclavable super oxide
dismutase (SOD) enzyme, used in
cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical
industries for end-applications.
DBT has announced Indo-Australian Career Boosting Gold Fellowships, under which it will support
researchers to undertake a collaborative research project at a leading science institute or university
in Australia for a period of up to
two years.ww
DBT has allocated $0.69 million to
the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) to support a national
multi-institutional project entitled, A value chain on jackfruit
and its products.
Under the 12th Five Year Plan,
the Government of India plans to
strengthen regulatory science and
India currently has a marginal share
in the global market for industrial
enzymes that is estimated to reach
about $4.4 billion by 2015. Hence,
there is an opportunity in focused
R&D and knowledge-based innovation in the eld of industrial enzymes,
which can innovatively replace polluting chemical processes into ecofriendly processes that also deliver
environmental sustainability. Another interesting eld of study is the area
of bio-markers and companion diagnostics, which will enable optimising
the benets of biotech drugs.
India has all the ingredients to
become a global leader in affordable healthcare. If there is an annual
investment of $4.01 to $5.02 billion
in the next ve years, the biotech
industry can grow to $100 billion by
2025, with a 25 per cent return on
investment, and is set to achieve a
growth rate of 30 per cent year-onyear. Courtesy IBEF



Astrosat: Now India

has an eye in the sky
Heralding a new
era in astronomical
research thanks to
Astrosat, its newly
launched space
observatory, India is
now self-reliant in
studying radiation
bands in space and
knowing what is going on out there

o help scientists intensify space exploration efforts by studying distant celestial

objects and conduct
deeper analysis of star systems, India launched its maiden dedicated
multi-wavelength space observatory, Astrosat, on September 28, 2015
from Satish Dhawan Space Centre
on board a PSLV-XL vehicle.
After the success of satelliteborne Indian X-ray Astronomy
Experiment, launched in 1996, Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) initiated the development
of Astrosat as a full-edged astronomy satellite in 2004.
The mission took 11 years of
dedicated research and it aims to
gather fresh data on the evolution
of the universe. This will herald a
new era in astronomical research.
Astrosat marks a new era in astronomical research. So far, scientists

were dependent on data relayed

by platforms manned by NASA
or European Space Agency. Now,
India has its own eye in the sky
to study radiation bands in space
that tell us about what is going on
out there, said K Kasturirangan
who had initiated the Astrosat
project as ISRO chairman.
Astrosat had a liftoff mass of
around 1,513 kg and was launched
into a 650 km orbit inclined at
an angle of 6 degree to the equator by PSL V -C30. After injection into the orbit, the two solar
panels of Astrosat automatically
get deployed in quick succession.
The spacecraft control centre at
Mission Operations Complex of
ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and
Command Network (ISTRAC) at
Bengaluru will manage the satellite during its mission life.
The Rs1.8 billion Astrosat will
spew data gathered by ve instru-

ments on board. While the primary

strength of Astrosat is in observing high energy events and objects
through its strong X-ray toolkit, the
instruments aboard Astrosat can
observe a wider spectrum from
visible light to the ultraviolet and
X-ray bands. This has been a limitation in most other telescopes set
up in space by NASA also. The Astrosat telescope is not only more
powerful but capable of gathering
data within the X-ray bands - making it a perfect multi-tasker.
Till date, the Hubble Space Telescope, a NASA-ESA joint venture,
has been the biggest space observatory in the world. Astrosat may only
be one-tenth in size compared to
Hubble but it makes India only the
fourth country (after USA, Russia
and Japan) to have an operational
space observatory for astronomical
observations of its own.
(Courtesy: India Perspectives)




An amazing digital expansion story

Digital India makes doing business in India

much more convenient and opens up a whole
new world of possibilities

ndia has witnessed tremendous digital expansion in

the past decade, experiencing an exponential growth
of 100 per cent within a
span of three years. Multiple platforms and tools have emerged giving
dynamic opportunities for digital to
With the advent of smartphones,
last year we saw 14.2 per cent
growth of internet traffic through
mobiles and tablets. To access the
internet, consumers no longer depend on desktops or laptops, they
are digitally active 24x7 with mo-

bile devices like smart phones and

phablets. The mobile industry has
witnessed a 20 per cent quarter on
quarter growth in its internet usage.
Interestingly, more than 50 per cent
of active internet users access internet over their mobile phones.
In 2013, out of 110 million mobile
internet users, rural Indians accounted for 25 million; 85 million
were from urban areas. Interestingly,
across both urban and rural India,
over 50 per cent of the active internet
users are accessing internet on their
mobile, apart from other sources, indicating that there has been a huge
uptake in consumption of the mobile
internet medium. Due to the increas-

ing demand in Value for Money segment, the median price of a handset
has fallen which has been attributed
to the reduction in prices of phones
with advanced features.
The rural mobile phone market
has huge market potential, brands
like Monsanto adopted SMS and
IVR solutions to reach such users.
Digital Quotient (DQ) developed
a large scale IVR system for Monsanto with outbound calling in
multiple languages to overcome the
challenge of communicating with
the farmers due to connectivity and
language barriers. This resulted in
generation of more than three million customer calls for the brand.
The social media growth story is
inspiring - given how in the last few
years it has emerged as one of the
most popular platforms with over
100 million active users. According
to a recent Forbes article, 84 per
cent of Indias Facebook users are


accessing the site from their smart

phones. Facebook is customizing
apps specically for the Indian market. It recently rolled out a missed
call capability, something that does
not exist in the US. Facebook is also
working with marketers in India
to help businesses understand the
word-of-mouth, advertising power
of social media.
Twitter is considered as the second most important channel due to
the presence of majority of inuencers like sportspersons, movie actors,
artists and politicians. A trending
topic on Twitter is perhaps one of the
most coveted benchmarks. In DQ,
twitter outreach campaigns have
been done for more than 20 brands
and have trended at both India and
worldwide level which has helped
brand not only harness reach but also
spike in their brand conversations.
Although India is set to become
Facebooks biggest market in terms

Social media has emerged

as one of the most popular
platforms with over 100
million active users
Facebook is customizing
mobile phone apps specically for the Indian market
Huge population size and
demographics are the driving force behind the incredible growth of online retail
Indias $13-16 billion retail
e-commerce industry is
currently dominated by the
travel sector
By 2017, India is projected
to overtake USA to become
the second largest smartphone market globally

of users but translating the same

into ad dollars may not happen anytime soon. The biggest challenge for
Facebook in India going forward
would be to convert some of the
companies to spend regularly on
social media advertisement. Google
also faces a similar challenge; it
earns revenue around $330 million
annually in India. Also, Google is
not just a search engine network
it has YouTube for video ads apart
from search based advertising and
Google Plus - quite established even
in a nascent stage.
When we look at the evolution of
YouTube, the social video sharing
platform, it was not as famous as
it is today when it was acquired by
Google. In 2009, it was a loss-making
business for Google due to high operational costs and within a span of 4
years the tables were turned around.
It was estimated YouTube would
earn ad revenues worth $5.6 billion
by the end of year, for Google. The
world of digital is increasingly adopting videos as a means of spreading
the message virally. Videos consumption of signicant proportion
of youth is on a digital device and not
on TV. The explosive growth of video
advertisements and enhanced internet speed on smart phones has made
video streaming convenient for its
audience; its Indian audience grew
an astounding 27 per cent in the past
year. Local content is distributed
mainly through the YouTube platform dominated by Bollywood.
Currently web, mobile, social
and video are the major drivers of
digital space. Indian digital market has a huge online population to
cater, which in turn has boosted ad
revenues, the total online ad spends
for 2012-2013 was INR22.60 billion which accounts for 10 per cent
of the entire Indian advertising
budget. The youth in the country are
enchanted by the web as they spend
maximum time online via social
network. Blogs are another fastest
growing category on the web. This
has scaled up advertisements making India the fourth largest searchers in the world.
Continue to Page 14 >





The Government has embarked on an ambitious INR1,130b (US$17.7b)
Digital India program that seeks to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It aims to expand rural internet coverage to 250,000 villages, and leverage information and communication technologies to deliver e-governace services.

of our surveys
the Digital India
FDI to India.


Internet access for all

An amazing digital
expansion story
Social media websites
give e-commerce players
diverse opportunities for attracting
audiences and turning them into
friends of brands/loyal customers.
Social media today is not just about
getting maximum number of likes
but is now more inclined towards
audience engagement and positive dialogue. Companies are using
social media to generate leads for
sales and create recalls via targeted
ads. Huge populationa size and demographics are the driving force
behind the incredible growth of online retail in comparison with the
traditional brick-and-mortar retail
sector. Indias $13-16 billion retail
e-commerce industry is currently
dominated by the travel sector,
which accounts for 70 per cent of ecommerce in India. Online consumer goods have attracted signicant
media attention as renowned global
e-commerce rms such as eBay and
Amazon seek to establish a more robust presence in the country.
The increasing need to deliver
value and return on investment will
demand more insights and innovation and there will be more specializations. Social media initiatives will
become more integrated with marketing programs, customer service
efforts, or with internal communications programs. Companies need to
focus on supporting a coherent and
sustainable social media strategy
inclusive of the right data generating
value and empowering employees to
engage with communities.
With the fast paced technological
development, organisations have to
be exible and adopt platforms that
consumers are shifting towards.
Businesses will be challenged to

adapt to customers usage curve and

deliver them with the content they
want yet generate revenue streams
while capturing market share and
monetising emerging channels.
In the coming years, companies
delivering integrated campaigns
over multiple platforms will enhance value to marketers. We will
witness a lot of mergers and acquisitions as the strategy is towards providing integrated services which is
coming up as the mantra of surviving in the Digital market.
India is a thriving country with
a large population that is still very
young and adopting smartphones at
a fast pace which leads to amazing
opportunities for innovation in mobile internet. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that, by 2017,
India will overtake the US to become
the second largest smartphone market globally. The start-up is also
growing rapidly, and venture capitals
are starting to take note of the immense potential in the country.
The Make in India programme
has played a critical role in kickstarting local manufacturing. It
has given rise to initiatives that are
designed to facilitate investment,
foster innovation, enhance skill
development, protect intellectual
property and build best-in-class
manufacturing infrastructure. This
means that the various government
departments respond even faster,
making the process of kick-starting
local manufacturing much easier.
This has helped to motivate companies to invest in India with local R&D and local manufacturing,
among other efforts.
(The writer is Co-Founder, Webitude and Head
Digital Marketing, Digital Quotient).

Broadband in

250,000 villages
and universal phone

As many as


public internet
access points

Wi- in

250,000 schools
and all universities; public
wi- hotspots for citizens

Adoption and manufacturing of IT products and services

India to be

E-governance and

use in services health,

education and banking

across government

leader in IT


Net zero imports

by 2020

Empowering citizens with digital inclusion

and job opportunities
public cloud and
internet access

Job creation:

Digital inclusion:

17 million trained
for jobs in IT, telecom
and electronics

17 million direct
85 million
and at least

indirect jobs

Source: Department of Electronics & Information technology (DeiTY), Government of India







Yoga The Indian art

of health and well-being

he quest for tranquility and relief from the

stress of daily activities has spawned a rapidly growing interest
in Yoga worldwide. Yoga and meditation techniques channelise the
mind, rejuvenate the soul and keep
the body t.
Yoga, the ancient Indian practice
to attain physical and spiritual wellbeing is today one of the top tourism attractions in India along with
health tourism and medical tourism.
Tourists, both foreign and local, are
heading for Yoga centres to learn and
master the awe-inspiring practices
and lifestyle, once known only to ascetics. Tourists and travelers are able
to contemplate and practice Yoga
and meditation at centres nestled in
the snow-capped Himalayas.
Yoga origins can be traced way
back to the 4th century BC when Sage
Patanjali, who put forward Yoga as a
system of philosophy. Ashtang Yoga,

the common form of Yoga, comprises

eight basic features, each with its
own signicance. They promote the
universal disciplines like truth, selfcontrol, non-violence, human values
of contentment, self-study, penance,
cleanliness and surrender to God.
The Asanas or yogic postures are
performed to keep the body t. Yoga
is commonly practiced to cure specic problems or as a remedy against
illness. It is known to cure ailments
like asthma and arthritis. Regular
practice of some asanas inculcates
condence and wards off depression in addition to making the body
supple. Similarly, meditation helps a
person to achieve positive and holistic health. Regular practice helps in
developing awareness and the energy required to transform deep-rooted
mental habit patterns. Chakra, yantra and mantra, the various forms of
meditation, calm the mind through
concentration and through a state of
extreme absorption lead to peace and

empowerment. Every year Rishikesh

hosts an International Yoga Week in
February, attracting both Yoga experts and participants from around
the globe. Another major attraction
in Rishikesh is the Glasshouse on the
river Ganga, once a private retreat of
the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal.
Although Yoga tourism is a recent
phenomenon, for centuries India
has captivated the minds of travellers with the sheer magic of its
natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, ancient shrines, grand monuments, bases for adventure activities, mountains, deserts, beaches,
houseboats, lagoons, festivals, tourist attractions and health and medical tourism facilities.
There are nearly 50 India tour
packages, highlighting one aspect
or the other from the tourism perspective. Among these the Golden
Triangle tour is one of the most
popular ones. It offers the tourist the
opportunity to visit popular tourist

destinations like Delhi, Jaipur and

Agra. Most of these week-long tours
start from New Delhi, Indias capital,
and extend to Jaipur and Agra. The
western state of Rajasthan with its
imposing forts, castles, temples and
other cultural relics gures prominently in most tour packages. The
state showcases the rich ancient
culture of India better than any other
region. A combination of tour packages cover Alwar, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Bikaner, Ranthambore,
Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chittor, Ajmer and
other places in the state. Thousands
of pilgrims, visiting the country, also
opt for religious tour packages like
the Chardham Yatra, India Temple
Tours, Amarnath Yatra, India Buddhist Tours and so on. Down south,
Kerala has emerged as a centre for
ayurveda tourism. Ayurveda is the
ancient Indian system of medicine
that evolved around 600 BC and
stresses on prevention of body ailments in addition to curing them.


Healthcare industry
set to experience
exponential growth

Temasek Holdings
Pte Ltd. acquired the
entire 17.74 per cent stake of Punj
Lloyd Limited in Global Health
Private Limited, which owns and
operates the Medanta Super Specialty Hospital in Gurgaon.
CDC, a U.K.-based development
nance institution, invested
US$48 million in Narayana
Hrudayalaya, a multi-speciality
healthcare provider. With this
investment, Narayana Health
will expand affordable treatment in eastern, central and
western India.
Apollo Health and Lifestyle
Limited (AHLL), a whollyowned subsidiary of the Apollo
Hospitals Enterprise, acquired
Nova Specialty Hospitals at an
estimated cost of Rs 135 to 145
crore (US$20.3 to 21.8 million).
IHH Healthcare Berhad acquired a controlling 51 per cent
equity stake in Hyderabadbased Continental Hospitals
Ltd. for about approximately
US$45.4 million.
Limited invested Rs 90 crore
(US$13.52 million) in Apollo
Sugar Clinics Limited (ASCL),
a unit of its subsidiary Apollo
Health and Lifestyle Limited.
AHEL entered into a denitive
agreement worth US$9 million
to acquire a 51 per cent stake in
Assam Hospitals Limited (AHL),
which runs a 220-bed hospital in
Carlyle Group acquired a stake
in Metropolis Healthcare Limited, an operator of pathology
laboratories in India, for an undisclosed sum.
Government initiatives
Indias universal health plan that
aims to offer guaranteed benets
to a sixth of the worlds population will cost an estimated Rs 1.6
trillion (US$24.03 billion) over
the next four years.
Some of the major initiatives
taken by the Government of India
to promote Indian healthcare industry are as follows:
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its meeting has approved the proposed
merger between Sun Pharma
and Ranbaxy, subject to the
parties inter alia carrying out
the divestiture of their products relating to seven relevant
markets for formulations.
India and Sweden celebrated
ve years of Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU). The
cooperation in healthcare between India and Sweden will
help in lling gaps in research
and innovative technology
to aid provisioning of quality

The Union Minister for Health

and Family Welfare, Government of India has launched
the National De-worming initiative, aimed to protect more
than 24 crore children in the
age group of 1 to 19 years from
intestinal worms, on the eve of
the National De-worming Day.
Under the National Health Assurance Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modis government would provide all citizens
with free drugs and diagnostic
treatment, as well as insurance
cover to treat serious ailments.
All the government hospitals
in Andhra Pradesh would get a
facelift at a cost of Rs 45 crore
(US$6.76 million), besides the
establishment of 1,000 generic
medical shops across the State in
the next few months.
launched by the Union Minister for Health and Family
Welfare, Government of India,
aims to immunise children
against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus,
polio, tuberculosis, measles and
hepatitis B by 2020. The government has set a target of 95
per cent immunisation cover by
end of 2016.
The E-health initiative, which
is a part of Digital India drive
launched by Prime Minister Modi,
aims to provide effective and economical healthcare services to all
citizens. The programme aims to
make use of technology and portals to facilitate people maintaining health records and booking
online appointments with various
departments of different hospitals using the eKYC data of Aadhaar number.
Road ahead
India is a land full of opportunities
for players in the medical devices
industry. The country has also
become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic
services with tremendous capital
investment for advanced diagnostic facilities, thus catering to a
greater proportion of population.
Besides, Indian medical service
consumers have become more
conscious towards their healthcare upkeep.
Indias competitive advantage
also lies in the increased success
rate of Indian companies in getting Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approvals. India also offers vast opportunities
in research and development, as
well as medical tourism. To sum
up, there are vast opportunities
for investment in healthcare infrastructure, in both urban and
rural India. (Courtesy: IBEF)