Proposal to increase Tamkeen's payouts presented

An urgent proposal to increase Tamkeen's payouts to micro and small enterprises has been presented to parliament today.

It is being spearheaded by parliament financial and economic affairs committee chairman Ahmed Al Salloom along with a cross-section of MPs representing various blocs.

Tamkeen board chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa said on Thursday that the financial support would be between BD1,050 and BD12,000 according to the size and needs of the establishment.

He added that around 17,000 applications were being reviewed and assessed with new payments being made soon.

Tamkeen also said it had started making payments for the first batch under the Business Continuity Support Programme, which was launched on April 12.

"The payouts are very low and barely cover rent without it calculating the cost of expat workers' accommodations and wages," said Mr Al Salloom, who is also Bahrain Bloc president.

"Rent alone costs between BD1,000 and BD3,000 and the payouts in monthly average barely meet anything since the maximum is BD12,000 as a total on three instalments," he said.

"Those establishments are on the verge of huge losses and closure with mostly being out of business since mid March."

Shaikh Mohammed said on Thursday that should there be a surplus in the available BD40 million budget then they will reopen registration this week.

The initiative is part of a BD4.3 billion financial stimulus package launched by the government in March to overcome the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.

It includes paying private sector employees’ wages for three months, and waiving electricity and water bills along with municipal and labour fees, and deferring loans for six months amongst other initiatives.

"The packages are the lowest possible and Tamkeen should go back to the government and indicate that from the calculation patterns it received from applicants," said parliament foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Mohammed Al Sissi, who is also National Action Charter Bloc president.

"There is a maximum spending, but I don't think the BD40m was a number the government determined, it came from Tamkeen itself stating it is sufficient," he added.

"The payouts have to increase because whenever a business is shut, it is difficult to start all over."

The proposal will be discussed at parliament’s weekly session on Tuesday.




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