Achieving goals together
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The executive and legislative branches have expressed pride in their collaborative efforts, which are instrumental in achieving the goals of the comprehensive development process led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
During a joint meeting, the two sides reviewed the outcomes of the semi-annual closure of ministries and government agencies for the period ending on 30 June 2023.
The meeting, chaired by Council of Representatives Speaker Ahmed bin Salman Al Musallam and Shura Council Chairman Ali bin Saleh Al Saleh, representing the legislative branch, and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, representing the government, highlighted the achievements resulting from their cooperation.
The representatives from the executive branch emphasised the government’s dedication to realising the goals of the Fiscal Balance Programme according to the predetermined schedule. This commitment aims to strengthen the kingdom’s financial stability, foster economic development, and create high-quality job opportunities for its citizens.
Ministries and government agencies have demonstrated their commitment to the state budget for 2023-2024, despite global challenges such as declining oil prices. The semi-annual closure revealed a decrease in total revenues by 2% compared to budget projections, reaching BD1,441 million.
Total expenditures amounted to BD1.823 million, resulting in a deficit of BD381 million. However, there is optimism for increased public revenues in the second half of the year due to expected oil price rises and diversified income sources.
The executive and legislature representatives reviewed the agreements on which the general state budget had been approved. They include mainly:
- Adherence to the goals of the Fiscal Balance programme by continuing to reduce expenditures and increase revenues to reach the balance point.
- Determining the priority for implementing the required projects related to infrastructure and services, including roads, municipal projects and sanitation.
- Launching initiatives to rise the citizens’ salaries in the private sector and enhance their employment preference.
- Raising work fees for non-Bahraini employees to make the citizens the best choice for employment.
- Expanding professional development programmes for Bahraini employees.
- Supporting the employment of citizens by enacting the necessary legislation to deduct an amount from the surpluses of the Insurance against Unemployment Fund for the benefit of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen).
- Increasing the monthly living improvement allowance for retirees from BD125 to BD 165 dinars for those whose pensions are less than BD1500, and from BD150 to BD190 for those whose pensions are less than BD700, so that 92% of retirees will benefit from it.
- Increasing the monthly living improvement allowance for public sector employees from BD60 to BD100 and from BD50 to BD85, so that 94% of public sector employees will benefit from it. - Doubling the monthly support for people with severe disabilities to reach BD200.
- Raising the public debt ceiling by one billion Bahraini Dnars to cover financing needs during the implementation period of the general budget for the years 2023-2024.