2012 Arab News
2012-02-28 Illegal Hafiz recipients warned of penal action
Published: Feb 28, 2012 02:30 Updated: Feb 28, 2012 02:30

The Ministry of Labor and the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) have warned punitive measures will be taken against those who are receiving Hafiz unemployment assistance illegally.

Cases against those who have become Hafiz beneficiaries by entering false information when registering for the allowance online will be referred to the local courts, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily reported yesterday.

The warning, posted on the websites of the ministry and HRDF, comes at a time when the HRDF is set to distribute more than SR1.6 billion among some 816,000 Hafiz beneficiaries for the third month in a row. About 251,000 new jobseekers were added to the list of Hafiz beneficiaries. The benefits will be deposited in the beneficiaries bank accounts.

The ministry and the fund warned that if any information supplied by the beneficiaries were found incorrect, penal action would be taken against them. The ministry is currently studying a proposal to penalize beneficiaries of the Hafiz program who turn down suitable job offers. Those who find good jobs will no longer be eligible for Hafiz assistance and the ministry will stop paying them. They may need to pay back some of the allowance.
It is mandatory for jobless youths to meet 12 conditions to entitle them for the allowance. The ministry or HRDF will not be responsible for finding jobs for Hafiz beneficiaries. In the meantime, HRDF has added three new fields in the application forms for the allowance. These relate to the electronic training program and e-employment program. HRDF has already chosen a limited number of beneficiaries for the e-training program on an experimental basis. All the beneficiaries would come under the purview of e-training in a phased manner. The beneficiaries would get their entry code to obtain access to the webpage of the program.

HRDF will also introduce e-employment services. Under this program, jobseekers can have access to job opportunities available in various companies and firms and will be free to choose any job they like. This program will be carried out in cooperation and coordination with private firms and companies. According to HRDF sources, the monthly unemployment allowance of SR2,000 for the Hijri month of Rabiul Awwal (Jan. 24-Feb. 22) will be deposited in the beneficiaries bank accounts effective today. During the last two months, a total of 665,000 jobless young men and women had benefited from the assistance.

Meanwhile, Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi Banks, told Al-Madinah newspaper that the third installment of Hafiz assistance would be distributed through 1,600 branches of local banks and 11,000 ATMs across the Kingdom. All the preparations are in place to distribute the allowance from Tuesday morning onwards, he said.

2012 Arab News
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