Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Fiscal Balance, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, yesterday issued an edict, exempting businesses adversely affected by the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from paying some fees imposed by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
The edict is in line with the directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to mobilise national efforts to confront the impacts of the pandemic at the local level, and to protect the health and safety of the citizens and residents, along with the continuity of the state’s programmes to enhance the sustainable development march.
It is also in line with the decisions of the government, led by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and that of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, to slash some fees imposed by LMRA on the issuance and renewal of all kinds of one-year work permits, and all monthly fees related to them by 50% for three months, starting from July.
HRH the Crown Prince’s decision also stipulates that all business owners who are involved in the businesses that have been most affected by the impacts of COVID-19, as will be determined by an edict by the Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Fiscal Balance, will be exempted from those fees for three months, beginning from July 1.
The edict issued by the Deputy Premier stipulates that business owners whose businesses have been stopped completely or partially due to the pandemic impacts up to now will be exempted from the issuance or renewal of the work permits fees for the first year of the validity of their permits.
They are also exempted from paying their monthly fees for three months, starting from July 1.
The sectors covered by the edict include travel and aviation, hospitality and restaurants, personal services (salons, gyms and entertainment halls), transportation and communications, rehabilitation and training (including kindergarten), retail (not including food), administrative services (public relations, media, and event organisation), in addition to local newspapers and magazines.
Other sectors that have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19 may benefit benefit from the provisions of the edict, with the exception of financial sector institutions, telecommunications, scientific, technical and professional activities, university education and schools.
The edict requested LMRA to issue a list of exempted commercial activities in accordance with the classifications they have adopted.
The edict aims to maintain sustainable growth, in general, and achieve the stability of the labour market for Bahrain’s small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular.