Plans being drawn up for post-Covid economic recovery

NEW plans are in the pipeline to protect people and society and continue with development projects, said Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

He told the Shura Council during its weekly session yesterday that measures will be taken to ensure economic recovery post-Covid, while efforts will be made to save money from the oil revenues.

Meanwhile, members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly voted unanimously in favour of three Royal decrees issued to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first is an amendment to the 2006 Insurance Against Unemployment Law to allow the government to withdraw money to support 50 per cent of Bahrainis’ wages in the private sector from October to December.

The second is to allow the government to take $450 million from the Future Generations Fund, and the third decree allows this money to be injected into the national budget for emergencies that include bringing stranded Bahrainis back and for medical preparations and logistics.

“The Future Generations Fund is in safe hands and we have returned this year to savings as $1 is taken from every oil barrel exported for above $40 following last year’s huge prices slump,” said Shaikh Salman.

“The fund’s investment strategy is low-risk and constantly rewarding and even with $450m being taken it remains strong.

“The government has just referred a legislation to Parliament and Shura Council to increase the fund’s revenues as it connects the increase in sale prices to more money being cut from the current $1 flat.”

Shura’s financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati said the government is confident that it will control the Covid-19 situation this year and hopefully wouldn’t need any more money in 2022.

Social Insurance Organisation chief executive Eman Al Murbati said the Unemployment Fund had BD703m in 2019 before money was withdrawn for wages in the private sector with it now standing at BD520m.

Meanwhile, members were notified on written replies from Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf on food security.




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