Executive regulations for Oman’s public-private partnership law and privatization law were released

Last year, RD 51/19 and RD 52/2019 established the Privatisation Law and the Partnership Law between public and private sectors, respectively. Further, RD 54/2019 recognized the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership (PAPP). PAPP monitors public-private partnership projects in consultation with other ministries. The objective is to improve operational efficiency, address financing needs, encourage foreign investment and attract technical expertise.

Last month, PAPP issued executive regulations providing greater details on matters such as partnership structures, contracting procedures, evaluation processes, guarantee requirements, and control and supervision of contracts.

The executive regulations may speed up the progress of some public projects/privatization opportunities. Further, these regulations will likely enable private players to assess public projects and privatization opportunities in Oman. 

Oman State Budget 2020 slashed by OMR 500 million

The sudden slump in oil prices and poor economic conditions attributable to Covid-19 prompted the Ministry of Finance to reduce 2020 budget spending by OMR 500 million (from its spending target of OMR 13.2 billion). Government departments are required to receive Ministry of Finance approvals before floating any new projects or tenders in Oman. The move seeks to rationalize government spending amidst the current economic downturn.

Royal Decree 34/2020 ratifies the Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters Convention

Over 100 countries have committed to exchanging information under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) regime. Such exchange relationships between jurisdictions are typically based on the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (the Convention).

Oman signed the Convention on 26 November 2019, becoming 107th jurisdiction to join. The Convention was ratified by Oman Royal Decree 34/2020 on 25 March 2020.

The ratification demonstrates Oman’s commitment to international norms for exchanging information with other countries. As a consequence, local legislation allowing specified institutions to undertake the CRS compliances with the designated authority is expected soon. This may support Oman’s removal from the European Union blacklist.

Royal Decree (RD) 43/2020 ratifies the Multilateral Convention to implement tax treaty measures to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS):

On 26 November 2019, Oman signed the Multilateral Convention (MLI) to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent BEPS, making the total signatories to 92 jurisdictions, globally. RD 43/2020 was issued on 31 March 2020 to ratify the MLI. The RD will be published in the Official Gazette and come into force from date of its issue.

As a next step, Oman is expected to deposit the ratified instrument with the OECD. After three months from the end of the month in which the MLI is deposited by Oman, the MLI will enter into force for 34 identified tax treaties forming part of Oman’s current tax treaty network.  

Upcoming KPMG event:

Topic: Tax impact of new Oman Tax Authority structure, international tax reforms and indirect tax measures in Oman

Date and time: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 11:00 am Arabian Time (Abu Dhabi, Muscat, GMT+04:00)

Duration: 1 hour

Please register here.