Manama, Dec. 31 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, today chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.
On the occasion of New Year, Cabinet extended its best wishes to HM the King, HRH the Prime Minister, and to the people of the Kingdom, wishing them a happy and prosperous future.
During the meeting, the Cabinet affirmed its commitment to continue monitoring all ministries’ efforts towards ensuring VAT compliance, and instructed the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to intensify its efforts in monitoring the market, enhancing consumer protection and responding to violations.
The Cabinet condemned the terrorist attack that targeted tourists in Egypt, and offered its full support to the government of Egypt in its efforts to tackle all forms of terrorism.
The Cabinet Secretary General Dr Yasser bin Essa Al Nasser outlined the following outcomes:
In response to HM the King’s directives to consider citizens’ needs through exemptions and non-application of VAT on basic goods and services, the Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy exempting 1,400 government services from the VAT.
The Cabinet reviewed a memorandum submitted by the Ministerial Committee for Financial, Economic and Fiscal Balance Affairs outlining the progress of the six initiatives of the Fiscal Balance Program (2019-2022), since its launch on Oct 4, 2018. The Cabinet recognized the progress revealed by the performance indicators and highlighted the Arab Monetary Fund’s commendation of the program’s developments and the establishment of the necessary frameworks that would support achieving the program’s objectives.
The Cabinet praised all the efforts exerted towards achieving the Fiscal Balance Program’s objectives through the constructive cooperation of all government entities, and instructed that the National Budget for the year 2019-2020 reflects Bahrain’s economic policy that aims to achieve fiscal balance by the year 2022.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum requesting the reduction of hotel service fees from 10% to 5% to accelerate the development of the tourism sector and benefit both tourists and residents alike.
Cabinet discussed the joint memorandum submitted following the directives of HRH the PM regarding the construction of 67 public schools. In this regard, the Cabinet reviewed a memorandum highlighting the construction progress and recommended procedures to deal with the cases outlined in the report. Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, and the Ministry of Education to present a cost analysis report.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum banning the import of plastic waste following the Government Executive Committee chaired by HRH CP’s direction to the Ministerial Committee for Urbanization and Infrastructure in coordination with the Supreme Council for Environment and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, to propose solutions on reducing the waste of plastic bags.
The Cabinet reviewed a memorandum categorizing proposed laws and legislations at the Legislative Authority into two categories following ministerial feedback, which are: proposed laws being considered and proposed laws not being considered.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding between Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority regarding the establishment of a committee to facilitate the exchange of medical expertise.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum allowing foreign companies to invest in remediation activities and other waste management activities concerning oil spills – the memorandum is submitted by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism following the Minister of Oil’s suggestion.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum amending the legal classification of youth’s age from 15-29 to 0 -35 years old to increase the total number of people benefiting from the Ministry of Youth and Sport’s ongoing initiatives, in line with international best practises.
The Cabinet discussed a draft law amending Article (46) of the Labor Law in the Private Sector promulgated by Law No (36) for the year 2012 prepared according to the Council of representative’s proposal to include the activation of a national wage protection system solution and to address the National Labor Organization’s concerns. The Cabinet approved the recommendation to review the draft law noting that a decree was issued to amend the labor law in the private sector on 29 November 2018, including activating the system of protection of wages, and amendments related to the observations of the International Labor Organization.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum regarding the introduction of a persons with disabilities act following the amendments of the Council of Representatives.
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BNA 1426 GMT 2018/12/31