BD485m support package announced to help Covid-affected sectors

by BTM

Wed, 16 June 2021

BD485m support package announced to help Covid-affected sectors

Bahrain yesterday announced a BD485 million economic stimulus package to support sectors hardest-hit by Covid-19, the GDN has reported.

The seven-point plan, ordered by His Majesty King Hamad, was unveiled during the weekly Cabinet session, chaired remotely by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The three-month royal lifeline from June to August, that has won the backing of legislators in the National Assembly, includes:

Paying full wages of Bahrainis in the private sector for June and 50 percent for July and August from the Unemployment Fund.

  • Exempting affected companies from paying municipal fees for three months.
  • Waiving tourism fees on tourist establishments and facilities for three months.
  • Extending Tamkeen’s business continuity support programme until August.
  • Exempting tenants of government-owned properties/companies from paying rents for three months.
  • Waiving commercial registration (CR) fees for 2021.
  • Reopening the door for new requests from companies, mainly small and medium, to benefit from the Liquidity Fund.

National Assembly and Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal welcomed the move following a request by 27 MPs last week.

“The decision comes as a boost for the hardest hit sectors,” she said.

“It reflects commitment from the leadership to protect the country from the pandemic that has had a devastating impact on their lives and businesses.”

Parliament first vice-chairman Abdulnabi Salman praised the ‘excellent’ package, although he added that more proposals were still under consideration.

“We are seeking waivers or exemptions on utility bills. Social housing instalments should also be deferred and these are among proposals that the government has promised to look into.”

Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan last night announced that sectors eligible for wage support will be determined in co-ordination with the Social Insurance Organisation.

The government spent BD4.5 billion last year to help individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.