Talks on post-Covid economy

ECONOMIC recovery post-Covid-19 will be high on the agenda of a major forum being held in Bahrain today to mark the International Day of Democracy.

New-look legislations that aim to inject life into all sectors of the economy will be discussed.

The forum, ‘Enhancing Democratic Flexibility To Face Future Crisis’, will be held remotely on Zoom from the National Assembly Complex in Gudaibiya under the joint patronage of National Assembly and Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal and Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh, in co-ordination with the Bahrain Institute for Political Development (BIPD).

Ms Zainal said legislators would work to strike a balance between democratic principles and post-pandemic comprehensive national development.

“We have to be open towards progressive democratic practices that respect rights and freedoms, while also developing the health, economic and social aspects, amongst others,” she said.

“Our legislative system is versatile and there are several legislations in the pipeline that would take the country into the next level post-recovery from the pandemic, while using practices during the tough Covid-19 times as a platform.”

Main speakers at the event are Parliament foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Mohammed Al Sissi and his counterpart in Shura Yousif Al Ghatam.

Shura first vice-chairman Jamal Fakhro said Bahrain now seeks to become a global leader in democratic practices.

“Bahrain is open and progressing and there is no turning back as the country becomes a global leader in democracy through legislations and public involvement in shaping the future post-recovery from Covid-19.”

Shura second vice-chairwoman Jameela Nusaif said work on the democratic roadmap continues to top national plans being drawn up by the government and legislators.

“The situation with Covid-19 showed that Bahrain is capable of placing health restrictions without trespassing on public freedoms and the control we witness today is due to the balanced approach.”

Shura legislative and legal affairs committee chairwoman Dalal Al Zayed said legislative stability has helped flourish democracy in the country.

“Democratic practices in Bahrain are so flexible that they are able to overcome any crisis.”

Shura financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati said involving legislators, businessmen and the community in decision-making was vital for the strength of the national economy, especially during the pandemic and after it.

“The challenges that the world faced with Covid-19 and imposed on Bahrain wouldn’t have passed without democratic input from legislators, businessmen and the community on the best possible course of action and that will be built on.”

Bahrain in June this year announced a BD485 million economic stimulus package to support sectors hardest hit by Covid-19; measures included paying wages of Bahrainis in the private sector, business continuity support, rent exemption and a waiver of fees.

The country spent BD4.5 billion under a bigger economic stimulus package from March to December last year to offset the impact of Covid-19.




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