15-year instalment extension plan

Bank loan instalments could be extended for up to 15 years to help people cope with a return of monthly deductions.

MPs yesterday unanimously approved an urgent proposal to more than double the maximum years of repayment from seven.

The proposal was presented by five MPs, led by Ammar Qambar.

MPs two weeks ago approved another proposal to defer loan instalments until the end of the year for Bahrainis and local businesses. The current loan deferral option expires on June 30.

Loans have been deferred since March 2020 shortly after the Covid-19 crisis erupted and the measure has been renewed four consecutive times since.

“The proposed loan deferral extension is something I can back as it will help people manage their finances after a difficult time and this will give them a breathing period of adjustment,” said Mr Qambar.

He believes average loan payments take 44 per cent of an individual’s income.

“We are here speaking about BD235 out of a BD500 salary. Doubling the repayment period from seven to 15 years could lower instalments by half, which would be easier to digest,” he added.

MPs also unanimously approved another urgent proposal by five MPs led by Mr Qambar to introduce a system in which people don’t lose out on social aid should they receive a small pay rise.


“Someone could get a BD5 pay rise and find they are no longer eligible to BD110 monthly social aid and find it reduced to BD77,” he claimed.

“The government should play fair and ensure people do not lose out on what must be considered an increase in peanuts in their salary.”

MPs have also unanimously approved another urgent proposal to stop families being evicted from dilapidated government apartment buildings until suitable alternative accommodation is offered.

Five MPs, led by Bahrainisation Committee chairman Ebrahim Al Nefaei, have submitted the proposal in a bid to get a new deal for those facing a housing dilemma.

It comes after revelations that almost half the families involved have refused to move and would rather risk staying in dangerous, crumbling accommodation than take up a ‘limited time’ payment offer to move into smaller rental accommodation.

The ministry introduced BD200 monthly accommodation payments for two years to the families affected but so far more than half of them have refused to accept the terms and move out.

They say the amount is too small and they are not confident that in two years their new homes will be available and want an extended time period, just in case of delays.

“Families have been ordered to leave within a month or risk being taken out by court order,” said human rights committee chairman Ammar Al Bannai.

“This type of cruelty is unacceptable.

“Threatening and shouting at them to leave ‘or else’ is something that we can’t remain quiet about.

“We want a fair deal for these families.”

MPs have unanimously approved the following proposals and also referred it to the Cabinet for review:

Having a public coastline extending from Sanad to Eker

Having a public coastline stretching from Dair to Samaheej

Compensating shrimp fishermen who were unable to take to the sea for 18 months

Parliament also approved issuing an urgent statement regarding International Labour Day, which falls on Sunday. MPs tasked Speaker Fouzia Zainal to issue it on their behalf.

Ms Zainal also read out her own statement on the occasion at the beginning of the session, besides other statements on World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3, Bahraini Press Day on May 7 and Eid Al Fitr next week.

During the session, MPs also commented on replies to 30 proposals presented by MPs over the past six months.

They included the opening of a vehicle inspection centre in Hamad Town, turning the old East Riffa Health Centre into a maternity hospital, introducing automated e-boarding services on King Fahad Causeway and intensifying monitoring on businesses to ensure proper implementation of VAT rules.

Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Minister Ghanim Al Buainain also said that a rumours combat unit was being set up within the National Communications Centre.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1060776/15-year-instalment-extension-plan


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