12 sectors to get financial lifeline

Sectors fighting for survival during the Covid-19 crackdown have been identified to receive a three-month extended lifeline to help cover the cost of paying Bahraini employees.

Twelve sectors are expected to benefit from 100 per cent wage payments to the local workforce for June and a further 50 per cent to cover July and August.

A draft of the ministerial decision set to be approved by Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan has been obtained by the GDN.

The sectors include training and rehabilitation (including kindergartens), retail sector (excluding foodstuff), travel and tourism, restaurants and hospitality, personal services (salons, gyms, play areas and entertainment), local newspapers and magazines, administrative services (public relations, media and event organisers), industrial, health (excluding clinics and hospitals), transportation, real estate and engineering, technical and construction offices.



It is also understood that other businesses that can prove eligibility for wage support will also be helped, apart from those operating in the financial, telecommunications, scientific, professional and technology sectors, alongside private universities and schools.

Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member and Bahrain Bloc president MP Ahmed Al Salloom, who presented the GDN with a copy pending approval, said the sectors listed have been ‘devastated’ by closures as the country implemented urgent measures to tackle a spike in Covid-19 cases.

“This is the final draft shown to us before being issued by the minister and the sectors included require every support possible in these tough and difficult times.

“Those listed have been noted in consultation with the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO) and around BD60m has been withdrawn from the Unemployment Fund to pay the wages of Bahrainis.”

Bahrain last week announced a BD485 million economic stimulus package to support sectors hardest-hit by Covid-19.

The seven-point plan, ordered by His Majesty King Hamad, was unveiled by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Prime Minister.

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

• Paying full wages of Bahrainis in the private sector for June and 50pc 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.

The government spent BD4.5 billion last year to help individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic, including paying the wages of Bahrainis in the private sector – in full or half – from April to December.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/948738/12-sectors-to-get-financial-lifeline


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