HRH the Crown Prince chairs weekly Cabinet meeting

Manama, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, today chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.

Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, HE Dr. Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, made the following remarks:

The Cabinet welcomed His Majesty King Hamad’s meeting with King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco, noting that the strength of ties between the two Kingdoms continues to grow.

HRH the Crown Prince directed government entities to further increase the quality and efficiency of government service centres by enhancing their competitiveness, creativity and innovation. Additionally, HRH the Crown Prince expressed his gratitude towards the eight ministries and entities that received the Taqyeem Gold classifications for their respective centres for the year 2019, these include:

The Information and E-Government Authority, represented by the ID card service Centre located at Seef Mall, Muharraq

The Electricity and Water Authority, represented by the Subscriber Service Centre at Mazaya Plaza

Bahrain’s Labour Fund (Tamkeen), represented by the Customer Service Centre located at Seef Mall

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, represented by the Bahrain Investors Centre, and the Precious Metals Assay Services

The Ministry of Works, Municipal Affairs, and Urban Planning, represented by the Northern Municipality Centre located in Hamad Town Municipality Building

The Social Insurance Organisation, represented by the reception Centre located in Seef Mall, Muharraq, and by its main reception Centre.

HRH the Crown Prince further recognised the eight ministries and authorities that received the Taqyeem Silver classification for their respective Centres, these include:

The Ministry of Interior, represented by the seaport and driving school within the driving licenses department

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development, represented by the Muharraq Social Centre

The Ministry of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, represented by the Capital Secretariat Centre

The Survey and Land Registration Bureau, represented by the Sanabis Building

The Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Traffic Department branch within the Directorate of Criminal Information

The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, represented by Riffa Post Office

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development, represented by the Manama Social Centre.

A number of submissions, memorandums and proposed laws were discussed during the meeting.

The Cabinet outlined the following outcomes:

1. The Cabinet reviewed the precautionary measures taken by the Ministry of Health to prevent the Novel Coronavirus from reaching the Kingdom. In this regard, HRH the Crown Prince directed the swift provision of early screening devices to be used to detect the virus, as well as to provide the necessary equipment needed to ensure preventive control of the disease.

HRH the Crown Prince further directed for the Ministry of Health to link its public laboratories with major centres for disease control and international organisations.

Within the memorandum submitted by HE the Minister of Health, the Cabinet further reviewed the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the Ministry at the Kingdom’s various entry points, as well as the monitoring of the global spread of the disease.

The Cabinet expressed its reassurance regarding the procedures and preparations made by the Kingdom, which are in line with that of the World Health Organization.

2. Based on the recommendations of the Government’s Executive Committee, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, the Cabinet decided that the Government will absorb the cost of the payable VAT incurred on water and electricity, without changing the current price of the tariffs for all users, effective from February 2020.

The Cabinet approved the Ministerial Draft resolution regarding the addition of article no. (6) BIS to Resolution No. (1) for the year 2016 on tariffs for electricity and water consumption, in light of the memorandum submitted in this regard by HE the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs.

3. Based on the directives of HRH the Crown Prince to ensure optimal mechanisms are in place to directly disburse government subsidies to eligible citizens, the Cabinet agreed to unify the date of subsidy disbursements to citizens across five programs under the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Housing. The subsidies will be disbursed in one payment, on the 15th of every month, starting from 15 February 2020. The operation will be monitored by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

The first phase will exclude the allowance to improve the standard of living for retirees which will be disbursed at its current date, based on the directives of HRH the Crown Prince. The second phase will include preparing a unified and centralised database including information provided by all government subsidy programs. This will ensure one record is established for every beneficiary across all government subsidy programs increasing efficiency in this regard, in line with the memorandum submitted by HE the Minister of Labour and Social Development.

4. HRH the Crown Prince assigned the Supreme Council for the Development of Education and Training, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, to study a proposal submitted by the Council of Representatives regarding finding the necessary solutions for Bahraini students who obtained university degrees from China that were not attested.

5. The Cabinet approved a Draft Resolution, to be issued by HE the Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, determining the registration and renewal fees within the mediators schedule in accordance with the provisions of the Decree-Law on mediation in dispute of settlements. This is in light of a recommendation made by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs, which was submitted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Committee.

6. The Cabinet approved a draft Air Service Agreement between the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the government of the Italian Republic, which aims to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of air transportation. This will also facilitate the establishment and operation of air services between and beyond their territories, in line with the recommendation provided by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs presented by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Committee.

7. The Cabinet approved a Draft Law to ratify the Air Services Agreement between Bahrain and the Maldives signed between the two sides on September 25, 2019. The Draft Law was referred to the Legislative Authority, in accordance with constitutional and legal procedures.

8. The Cabinet reviewed the educational achievements and projects implemented by the Ministry of Education, as well as the upcoming initiatives aimed at achieving the main goals and priorities within the 2019-2020 Government Programme.

The main initiatives include the development of the Kingdom’s higher education sector, and the improvement of the quality of the Kingdom’s national workforce through education. The management of schools, the use of international educational best practice in order to develop educational institutions, and attracting investments within the Education sector are also key initiatives highlighted by the programme.

The memorandum outlining the Ministry’s achievements was submitted by HE the Minister of Education.

9. The Cabinet approved the Kingdom of Bahrain’s hosting of the Gulf Regional Sports Conference, set to take place on 25 � 27 February 2020, which aims to review the experiences of countries and their success achieved in the Young Sports Leadership Project as well as provide an opportunity for teachers and young leaders to develop their skills.

10. The Cabinet approved a Draft Resolution on the amendment of some municipal fees stipulated in Resolution No. (5) for the year 2010. The draft resolution submitted by HE the Minister of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning will cancel the additional fees imposed on waste disposal services after four o’clock in the table attached to the resolution No. (5) for the year 2010.

The Cabinet reviewed a report submitted by HE the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism on the commitments of industrial companies situated in Salman Industrial City to follow and implement on environmental laws and legislations. The Report further outlined the requirements stipulated to companies within the environmental licenses in light of the launch of the environmental inspection project on industrial companies, in cooperation with the Supreme Council for the Environment.

The Cabinet took note of the outcomes of the 2020 World Education Forum, which took place in the UK on 20-22 January, via a report submitted by the Minister of Education. The Cabinet also noted another report submitted by HE the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs on various workshops held in the UK with experts and field visits regarding the soon to be developed Sakhir Sports City project.

Source: Bahrain News Agency