JEDDAH – The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has refuted rumors that it has increased the work permit fee for expatriates. The ministry stressed that any decision by the ministry in this regard will be announced officially. The ministry is scheduled to implement the new Saudization percentages in Nitaqat program as of Sept. 3, 2017 (Dhul Hijja 12, 1438H). The Labor Ministry had started on Nov. 15, 2012 (Muharram 1, 1434H) implementing the decision to increase the fee on expatriates and started collecting SR200 per month, reaching SR2,400 per year on all private sector companies where the number of expatriate workers is more than that of Saudis, Okaz Arabic daily said. The ministry also denied any increase in the fees for issuance of visas for domestic workers. It said that the services for issuance of domestic workers’ visas can be obtained from the Individuals Recruitment (Istiqdam) administrations Kingdomwide. Inspectors uncover about 53,000 violations The ministry also announced that its inspection campaigns uncovered 52,898 labor violations in various parts of the Kingdom. These violations were detected after labor inspectors conducted a total of 141,827 visits to private sector establishments during the period from the beginning of the Hijri year 1438 (Oct. 2, 2016) till the end of Shawwal (July 23). Ministry spokesman Khaled Abalkhail said inspection campaigns will continue in all Saudi regions with the help from related government entities. He said these campaigns are meant to ensure implementation of labor laws, detect violations and impose penalties on erring workers and employers. The inspections, he said, show the ministry’s keenness to make sure all parties comply with the labor decisions aiming to regulate the labor market, as well as protect law-abiding employers and stakeholders. To report about any violation or make inquiries about any labor decisions, the spokesman called upon customers to contact the ministry via phone No. 19911 or with the help of ‘Ma3an lil Rasd’ app that can be downloaded on mobile phones.