As part of Qatar’s continuous development and progress towards achieving the 2030 National Vision, on 19 October 2021 his Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, announced a partial cabinet reshuffle and amendment to the cabinet structure whereby new ministries were created, including the Ministry of Environment; as well as several existing ministries being separated, such as the Ministry of Culture. The purpose of the reshuffle is to focus on maximizing governmental efficiency, to apply the national visions and to enhance the administrative performance in the Ministries in general.
The cabinet reform was in parallel with his Highness’ Decision No. (57) of 2021 regulating the Determination of Ministries Competencies (the “Decision”) which sets out the competencies and jurisdictions of each Ministry within the cabinet. The Decision is expected to harmonize the collaborative efforts of all Ministries as well as to pave the way towards enhancing the attractiveness of Qatar’s investment environment by ensuring that investors are aware of the competency of each public Ministry and how such Ministry may affect his/her business in the country.
The Decision identified general and mutual roles and responsibilities that need to be observed and performed by all Ministries in general, as well as listing specific responsibilities that each Ministry shall undertake, specific to the political and administrative nature of the relevant Ministry.
The general responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Preparing and executing the strategic and executive plans of the relevant Ministry in accordance with the national strategies and development plans of Qatar,
2. Suggesting the policies, projects and programs related to the Ministry’s competence,
3. Supervising the governmental entities related to the relevant Ministry in accordance with the law,
4. Coordinating with the other Ministries,
5. Suggesting new draft laws and preparing the annual budget of the relevant Ministry, and
6. Preparing the internal regulations of the relevant Ministry.
In addition to the general responsibilities, the Decision also identifies specific responsibilities to each Ministry within the Cabinet. While it is important to fully cover the responsibilities of all Ministries, given the reshuffle and impact on roles and responsibilities with the Ministries, it is important that clients note the following specific responsibilities relevant to each Ministry as follows:
A. Ministry of Interior
As per Article (3) of the Decision, the Ministry of Interior is responsible for, but not limited to, maintaining the security and public order and morality. The Ministry of Interior is also responsible for regulating the nationality and entry of foreigners which include the visa issuance and residencies, as well as departure of foreign residents.
As such, the Ministry of Interior will be continuing its statutory role to regulate the residency affairs of foreign employees and their families who live in Qatar which includes, but is not limited to, residency and visa affairs.
B. Ministry of Finance
The Ministry of Finance mainly focuses on managing and supervising the financial affairs of the State. The Ministry of Finance shall also continue to supervise the credit and procurement policies of the government as well as managing the public debt, public loans, and public income.
The Ministry of Finance supervises the State’s tax regime, collection of tax to support the national income, and facilitating the trade movement to the country or outside of the country.
C. Ministry of Education and Higher Education
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education shall be responsible for promoting education at all levels including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Licensing and supervising nurseries, schools, and higher education institutions.
2. Allocating the financial support and providing the technical support and guidance to schools and higher education institutions.
3. Licensing educational services centers.
4. Supervising the governmental educational institutes.
As such, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education shall be the regulatory authority for most of the educational entities in Qatar, where it shall be responsible for giving permissions and licenses to operate, as well as supervising the operation of these entities.
D. Ministry of Municipality
Among other matters, the Ministry of Municipality shall be responsible for the following:
1. Supervising the construction of buildings,
2. Supervising and regulating the engineering profession, and
3. Expropriation of buildings for public interest.
E. Ministry of Social Development and Family
Included under the Decision for the Ministry of Social Development and Family, is responsibility for regulating and licensing associations, private institutions as well as charities.
F.Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice shall continue with its competency to supervise and administer the following:
1. State lawsuits,
2. Supervising the legal profession,
3. Notarization and attestation of documents, and
4. Registration of real estates.
G.Ministry of Commerce and Industry
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry shall be responsible for:
1. Attracting investment.
2. Registering the commercial and investment entities.
3. Regulating and administering the unified economic register.
4. Issuing commercial licenses.
5. Taking all appropriate measures to protect consumer.
6. Combating commercial fraud.
7. Protecting competition and combating monopolistic practices.
8. Protecting intellectual property rights.
9. Managing the industrial zones.
10. Promoting the public- private partnership.
H.Ministry of Labour
Among other things, the Ministry of Labour shall be responsible for the following:
1. Supervising the implementation of Labour Law.
2. Training Qatari employees.
3. Settling labour disputes.
4. Issuing employment permits.
5. Inspecting companies to make sure they comply with Labour Law.
6. Promoting labourers and safeguarding their interests.
For more information on the Decision and its impact on your businesses, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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