New fees reprieve

Manama: The government has extended another lifeline to private sector businesses badly affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Deputy Premier and head of the financial and economic affairs and fiscal balance committee Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa yesterday issued an edict exempting hardest-hit trading activities from paying some fees to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).

Employers who were forced to stop their businesses fully or partially due to the pandemic have been exempted from paying the fees levied on issuing or renewing work permits in the first year of validity.

They have also been exempted from paying their monthly fees due for three months – starting from July 1.

The relief package benefits the sectors of travel and aviation, hospitality and restaurants, personal services (salons, gyms, and entertainment), transportation, training and rehabilitation (including kindergartens), retail sector (excluding foodstuff), administrative services (public relations, media and events management), local newspapers and magazines.

Any other affected sector could still benefit from the reprieve, except financial institutions, telecommunications, scientific, technical and professional activities, and higher education and schools.

The LMRA has been assigned to issue a list of the exempted commercial activities.

The measures aim to mitigate Covid-19 fallout on businesses and maintain sustainable development and labour market stability, particularly small and medium enterprises.




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