*** ----> Lawmakers advocate prudent decision-making for bahrain’s small businesses | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Lawmakers advocate prudent decision-making for bahrain’s small businesses

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Don’t rush decisions concerning small businesses; consult first. Bahraini lawmakers said this to authorities here highlighting recent decisions that have allegedly hurt the local business community, some of which are now on the brink of closure. Their solution? Establish a joint committee to thoroughly assess labour market decisions before implementation.

This committee, comprising members from the Bahrain Chamber, small business owners, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), Social Insurance Organisation, and legislative body, would evaluate potential impacts, market suitability, and alignment with small business needs.

Lawmakers argue that such a committee, if approved, would provide a platform for feedback and policy formulation, considering financial constraints and market dynamics.

Small Businesses Struggle

Recent decisions have inflicted considerable pain on small businesses.

Lawmakers say measures like increased work permit fees, higher social insurance contributions, and mandatory monthly end-of-service benefits for foreign employees have exacerbated financial woes, pushing some businesses toward closure.

Fee Duplication, Financial Strain

MP Mohammed Al Maarafi further highlights the issue of duplicate fees burdening business owners.

For instance, businesses pay monthly health insurance fees covering employee health, unemployment, and injury, yet the Social Insurance Organisation also collects mandatory fees for the same coverage.

Al Maarafi argues there’s no legal basis for such duplication.

Another concern is the rising fees and charges on businesses, such as converting electricity tariffs for Bahraini-owned shops to commercial rates, significantly increasing electricity and water costs.

Seeking Solutions

Al Maarafi proposes a comprehensive review of recent decisions and a pause on further measures for one to two years.

This pause would allow businesses to adjust, restructure commitments, and plan their financial year without further disruptions to market stability.