*** ----> New measures in COVID-19 fight | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

New measures in COVID-19 fight

TDT | Manama

Additional measures to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were approved yesterday by the Cabinet, in line with the directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to unify national efforts to confront the virus’ impact at the local level.

These came the regular weekly Cabinet session, chaired by His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and attended by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.

The Cabinet decided to exempt industrial companies that export at least 30 per cent of their products and are located at industrial zones affiliated with the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry from paying rent for a period of three months, starting from this month.

Companies operating in the most-affected sectors will also be exempted from paying fees for renewing their commercial register and fees for the first three activities of the commercial register of 2020. Tourism facilities and establishments are also to be exempted from paying tourism fees for the third quarter of this year.

These measures aim to help protect the health and safety of the citizens and residents, and ensure the continuity of the Kingdom’s programmes to enhance the sustainable development march. They are also in line with the decisions of the government, led by HRH the Prime Minister, and the national efforts, led by HRH the Crown Prince, to combat COVID-19 in Bahrain.

Counter-Terrorism Committee to be established The Cabinet, based on a recommendation by the Government Executive Committee led by HRH the Crown Prince, approved a draft-decree on the establishment and formation of a committee to combat extremism, fight terrorism and its financing, and counter money laundering.

The panel’s jurisdictions include studying all these related issues. It shall also suggest polices, coordinate national anti-terror efforts and revise them periodically, in addition to proposing the designation of individuals and entities on the national terror list, assessing the dangers of extremist ideology, terrorism and money laundering, and proposing the necessary legislation and systems to combat them.

The mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee also encompasses submitting periodic reports including the results of its work, as well as its recommendnations on the measures to be taken. Ministers requested to carry out more field visits HRH the Prime Minister requested the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister and the Housing Minister to continue making field visits to villages and towns, including Tubli and its neighbouring villages, in order to collect first-hand information about local citizens’ needs and to address them.

Directives to develop central markets’ services, facilities HRH the Premier gave directives to develop the services and facilities of central markets, including the Sitra Central Market and the Sitra Commercial Complex, and to provide basic needs for salespersons and shoppers.

HRH the Prime Minister also gave instructions to intensify inspection and control campaigns on goods and foodstuffs in various commercial outlets to verify their quality and safety. EWA-related bills endorsed The session endorsed a draftedict on adding a new clause to regulations for electrical installations.

The bill authorises the Electricity and Water Authority to assign inspection and testing tasks on electrical installations to external parties licenced by it, in accordance with the conditions and regulations it sets in coordination with the competent authorities.

The session also approved a draft edict regulating insurance on electricity and water accounts, and another on changing an edict on regulating and determining the insurance amounts for electricity and water accounts. Bill on car, e-bike rental approved The session approved a draft edict that regulates licenses for car and electric bicycle rental.

The bill defines vehicles of all types and sizes, the minimum required for car rental, the permitted manufacturing years for rental, and other regulatory procedures. Parliamentary proposals A number of parliamentary proposals were approved during the session.

They include increasing the period in which trucks and heavy vehicles are banned from using roads during peak hours, and to activate the resolutions of the Higher Traffic Council in this regard; establishing a technical school for girls in Hamad Town, which has already been achieved on the ground through the Ghazi Al Gosaibi Secondary Girls School;

and establishing an integrated service centre for the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs, which has already been achieved on the ground with the existing three branches in the Kingdom, in addition to the Interior Ministry’s plans to deliver e-transactions.