BTEA denied control over companies

PLANS to have the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) control companies it invests in has been rejected by the Shura Council.

Members yesterday rejected amendments to the 2006 Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority Set-up Law which would have obliged the authority to acquire 50 per cent or more shares in companies so it could control their boards, and contribute to the national budget.

The amendments presented by former MPs were rejected by a majority vote by current MPs in February for “contravening financial and administrative independence”.

Financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati said the plan was disastrous and would deter foreign investments with Bahrain already attracting billions of dinars worth of businesses.

“The current format is more flexible and gives the necessary confidence for investors to come here,” he added.

Meanwhile, the chamber voted in favour of amendments to the 2018 Electronic Letters and Deals Law, already approved by Parliament.

People suffering losses or damage through unlicensed electronic providers could be compensated should they provide proper evidence in support of their claims.

The current law doesn’t mention electronic financial services done through unlicensed providers.

It will now be referred to His Majesty King Hamad for ratification.

An amendment to the 1989 Cassation Court Law that would have seen the consultancy chamber introduced in 2014 scrapped was also approved.

This came despite objections by Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa during the session that four other GCC have followed Bahrain’s move, which saves the main court from exhaustion by filtering cases.

It will be now drafted as proper law by the government and referred within six months to the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, plans to join the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals presented by the government, already approved by Parliament, was unanimously given the go-ahead by the Shura Council.

It will now be referred to His Majesty King Hamed for ratification.

Shura members were also notified during their five-hour session about written replies from Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi and Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa to queries.




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