BNA publishes Government’s support scheme for citizens, residents and businesses in Bahrain
In a move to reassure its citizens and the commercial sector of the Government’s commitment towards safeguarding the economy and national welfare in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, H.E The Minister of Finance and National Economy Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa introduced an unprecedented stimulus package of 4.3 Billion Bahraini Dinars to facilitate a comprehensive support scheme for citizens, residents and businesses.
An official publication by the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) highlighted the following eight key policy mechanisms aimed at ameliorating the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and industries across Bahrain:
- Referring to draft law concerning paying the salaries of all private sector employees for three months from April 2020 from the unemployment fund, following constitutional procedures and in line with the Social Insurance Law;
- Paying individuals’ and businesses’ Electricity and Water Authority utility bills for three months from April 2020 (up to the costs incurred during the same period in 2019), whilst also restructuring government administrative costs to offset additional costs incurred by the government;
- Exempting all individuals and businesses from municipal fees for three months from April 2020;
- Exempting all businesses from industrial land rental fees for three months from April 2020;
- Exempting all tourism-related industry from tourism levies for three months from April 2020;
- Doubling the size of the Liquidity Support Fund to BHD 200 million;
- Increasing the Central Bank of Bahrain’s loan facilities to BHD 3.7bn to allow debt instalments to be deferred and extra credit to be extended; and
- The redirection of all Tamkeen programmes (semi-autonomous government agency that provides loans and assistance to businesses) to support adversely affected companies, as well as the restructuring of all debts issued by Tamkeen.
The swift and comprehensive measures taken by the Government of Bahrain in response to COVID-19 are consistent with the Government’s ongoing steadfast commitment to pro-actively prioritise the health, safety and well-being of its citizens, residents and businesses during these times.
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