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, held remotely.
The Cabinet praised HM the King’s address given at the inauguration of the third session of the Fifth Legislative Term of the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives, which highlighted the Kingdom’s priorities and development goals, and will serve as a roadmap for Team Bahrain to further enhance progress and development for all in the Kingdom, in line with the vision of HM the King.
The Cabinet welcomed the decision made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers, chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, HM King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to raise the level of representation for the Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council to be headed by the Crown Princes of the two countries. The Cabinet praised the decision which aims to further strengthen bilateral relations across all levels.
The Cabinet extended best wishes to HH Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who was newly named Crown Prince of Kuwait by the Amir of Kuwait, HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, wishing him success in serving Kuwait and its citizens under the leadership of the Amir of Kuwait.
The Cabinet expressed their wishes for the continued commitment to the ceasefire agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia in the Nagorno Karabakh region and for a political solution to be reached which resolves the conflict in a way that contributes to achieving security and peace in the two countries.
HRH the Crown Prince issued directives to ministers and government agencies to expedite their responses to questions and requests received from the Council of Representative and Shura Council committees, in order to further enhance cooperation between the Executive and Legislative branches.
Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, HE Dr. Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, made the following remarks:
The Cabinet reviewed the results of the performance of government agencies in the National System for Suggestions and Complaints ‘Tawasul’ during the period from October 2019 to September 2020, in light of the memorandum submitted in this regard by the Government Executive Committee. The results showcased the performance of 41 government entities within the Tawasul system, based on efficiency of response to beneficiaries and resolving complaints within the specified time frame in the system.
According to the results, 20 government agencies achieved best performance, of which 13 had been previously awarded in 2019, and an additional 7 entities were added to this year’s list. Each government agency will be awarded accordingly, for providing quality services that enhance government efficiency and benefit the Kingdom’s citizens and residents.
HRH the Crown Prince emphasised the importance for all government entities to further strengthen the quality of their services, and to respond to complaints in a timely manner. HRH the Crown Prince further directed for the introduction of initiatives that support the Tawasul system, through assessing the quality and speed of responses to suggestions submitted by the public.
The Cabinet adopted the 2020 population census in the Kingdom of Bahrain, presented by the Minister of Interior. The census indicated that the Kingdom’s population on the night of the reference time, which corresponds to 17 March 2020, amounts to 1,501,635 individuals, of whom Bahrainis constitute a total of 712,362, or 47.4%, while the number of non-Bahrainis reached 789,273 people, or 52.6%.
The Cabinet approved the Fifth National Telecommunications Plan, which outlines the government’s general policies and strategies regarding the telecommunications sector during the next three years. The goals of the plan include completing the development of the national broadband network, extending its coverage to all homes and institutions at fair and reasonable prices, achieving full equality in the provision of services and enhancing the role of Bnet in developing infrastructure for optical fibers.
The Plan further aims to enhance competition within the mobile telecommunications sector, spectrum and fifth generation, and to provide international connectivity to and from Bahrain, as well as to further develop the Kingdom’s digital economy.
The Cabinet approved the renaming of four industrial zones out of seven belonging to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, after some of them were merged. The zones renamed include North Sitra Industrial Area to the Sitra Industrial Area, the renaming of the North Refinery Industrial Area to the Ma’ameer Industrial Area after merging the two together, renaming the South Alba Industrial Area to become the Al Mazaraa Area, and renaming the Sitra Roundabout Industrial Area to Lahsi Industrial Area.
The names of the other three industrial areas affiliated with the Ministry will remain the same, namely Salman Industrial City, Salman Port Industrial Zone, and Hafira Industrial Zone, in light of the memorandum submitted for this purpose by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
The Cabinet reviewed the Electricity and Water Authority’s performance and efficiency regarding the production, transmission and distribution of electricity and water during the summer of 2020, during the unprecedented circumstances provided by COVID-19.
The memorandum submitted by the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs also outlined the measures and preparations taken by the authority to rationalise the use of electricity, and the precautionary steps it has taken to confront the global pandemic, in addition to electricity and water projects that contribute to increasing reliability and ensuring current and future development projects receive their required resources.
The Cabinet praised the EWA for its efforts producing, distributing and transporting electricity and water, which contributed to meeting growing needs and reducing the rates of electricity and water outages to low levels.
The Cabinet approved the Kingdom’s accession to the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic material and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its use attached to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The protocol aims to regulate the process of obtaining genetic resources related to plant and animal biological diversity between providers and users of these resources.
The Cabinet approved the Kingdom’s accession to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The agreement aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and its compounds, and to establish controls over its uses and initiatives to reduce it in several applications.
The Cabinet approved a proposal submitted by the Council of Representatives to increase health inspections for expatriate workers, which has already been enforced through the measures taken by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development in this regard.
The Cabinet discussed and took appropriate decisions regarding a number of proposals related to criminal cases in social media; fees prescribed for parents of students with disabilities in special rehabilitation centres that were suspended due to the global pandemic; doctors working on temporary contracts and unemployed nurses.
In the items of Ministerial reports, the Cabinet noted the outcomes of the sixth meeting of the Committee of Labour Ministers in the Gulf Cooperation Council, submitted by the Minister of Labour and Social Development.
Source: Bahrain News Agency