JEDDAH: Troubled Binladin Group has been given a lifeline by the government that will allow it to continue bidding for state contracts and completing other projects, according to reports on Thursday.
The royal approval for the group comes in the wake of reports that it has not been paying some of its workers for months and had dismissed almost 12,000 Saudi and 77,000 expatriates employees.
The government has also lifted a travel ban on the company’s executives, which ban had been put in place after the crane crash tragedy at the Grand Mosque in September 2015 where 107 pilgrims were killed. The company’s engineers were partially responsible for the tragedy.
The company reportedly held several meetings on Wednesday to talk about restructuring its operations and debt. A spokesman of the General Authority for Civil Aviation reportedly said that work would resume at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah. Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani had confirmed Tuesday that the ministry would work to resolve the crises affecting the group.
He also promised that measures would be taken to pay the salaries of employees who have not been paid for months.
In addition to the bidding suspension, the company had been hit hard by a general slump in the construction industry as the government cut spending in response to low oil prices, and bankers have worried that Binladin Group could have to restructure some of its debt.