New help for businesses

MANAMA: The government will continue to pay 50 per cent of the wages for Bahrainis working in Covid-19-crisis-hit businesses in the private sector from October to December.

The government shouldered 100pc of the wages from April to June and then 50pc for affected sectors from July to September.

The weekly Cabinet session, chaired remotely by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, took the decision to assist 23,000 Bahrainis in 4,000 establishments.

A total of 524 uninsured Bahraini employees in kindergartens and nurseries will be offered the same help.

And, around 950 Bahraini taxi and public transportation drivers, as well as 829 driving instructors, will receive BD150 monthly over the same period.

The lifeline follows directives by His Majesty King Hamad to harness all efforts to combat the pandemic, protect people’s health and ensure the development momentum continue unhindered.

Click to read the Cabinet report

In another decision, tourism establishments will be exempted from fees from October to December.

Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa presented the second quarterly report on economic indicators during the session.

l A multi-entry electronic tourist visa for US citizens valid for 10 years was yesterday given the go ahead. Holders of the e-visas will be allowed to stay in Bahrain for 90 days.

The current fees levied on the five-year visa benefiting US nationals will apply to the new visas, and applications shall be submitted online.

The session approved a draft edict, to be issued by the Interior Minister, amending edict 196 of 2014 on the fees levied on NPRA services.

l The 2020 Economic Freedom Index, annually issued by Fraser Institute, has ranked Bahrain first in the GCC and second in the Arab region.

The index measures the degree to which policies and institutions are supportive of economic freedom in 162 countries worldwide.

Bahrain has also improved its standing in a number of sub-indicators within the Global Innovation Index 2020, moving up by 24 ranks in the sub-pillar ‘Trade, Competition and Market Size’.

Manama has been cited among 150 most attractive financial cities on AIRINC’s 2020 Global 150 Cities Index. It highlights the cities that have the ideal combination of high salaries, low taxes, costs and quality of life.




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