E-payment compulsory from Aug. 25; 30% reward for whistleblowers

Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said that teams from the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs detected 82 violations during their raids carried out on 3,500 commercial establishments during the last three weeks.

It was found, during the inspections, that 98 percent of the establishments are complying with the regulations.

Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce.
Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce.

Addressing the daily joint press conference on the developments of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom on Wednesday, the spokesman said that the major features of the newly approved anti-concealment law include heavy penalties of up to 5 year-jail term and a fine of SR5 million for violators of the law in addition to protection of whistle-blowers.

“The law aims to narrow down the sources of concealment, eliminating the shadow economy, stimulating commercial establishments and protecting consumers.

“It will also protect the identity and data of whistleblowers in concealment cases by not including them in the case file, and rewarding them with 30 percent of the fine collected from the violators after the issuance of the judgment.”

Al-Hussein said, under the National Program for Combating Commercial Concealment, it is mandatory for 70 percent of the establishments in the retail sector to provide electronic payment for more than 50 commercial activities, most notably gas stations, car and spare parts workshops, laundries, hairdressing and beauty salons, groceries and supply stores, restaurants and cafes.

It is also mandatory for the remaining 30 percent of the establishments in the retail sector to make electronic payment available effective from Aug. 25 (Muharram 6). This would cover sectors selling vegetables and fruits, bakeries, tailoring shops, luxury stores, clothes and accessories, selling gas, building materials, plumbing and electricity, and selling furniture.

The spokesman stressed that the ministry is monitoring the use of electronic payment methods in sales outlets, and is handling notifications from consumers in the event that they are not provided with the service. The statutory penalties will be strictly applied to non-compliant establishments, he added.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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