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 at Gudaibiya Palace.
The Cabinet commended the Royal Decree issued by HM the King, pardoning inmates for humanitarian reasons, adding that the noble gesture reflects the principles enshrined by HM the King’s far-reaching vision of coexistence, peace and forgiveness.
The Cabinet reviewed the latest measures taken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and safeguard the health of citizens and residents. In this regard, the Cabinet instructed concerned entities across the Kingdom to limit social gatherings of more than 150 individuals, noting importance of abiding by the health guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Cabinet commended the positive response received by the e-volunteer platform, that further supports the Kingdom’s national efforts to Combat Coronavirus, adding that the response reflects the strong values of social responsibility and solidarity amongst the Kingdom’s society.
In recognising the anniversary of the Arab Human Rights Day, the Cabinet underscored the Kingdom’s efforts and achievements in safeguarding and protecting human rights. The Cabinet went on to condemn the terrorist attack targeting the Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan, HE Abdalla Hamdok and his convoy, affirming its rejection of any attempts made to undermine Sudan’s stability and security.
Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, HE Dr. Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, made the following remarks:
1. Given the challenges faced globally by the spread of the COVID-19, and based on the Kingdom’s wide-ranging efforts and measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus, the Cabinet has decided, in accordance to Article 11 of Decree Law no.39 for the year 2002 regarding the public budget, to grant the Minister of Finance and National Economy, the authority to directly withdraw from the public account – with a limit of 5%, of the total appropriations of current-year budget expenditures to meet urgent expenses that do not have budget appropriations and cannot be deferred to the budget for the coming years.
2. The Cabinet approved land acquisitions, for purposes of planning and re-planning, across a number of approved developments located in different areas of the country, in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Real Estate Expropriation Act for the public benefit No. (39) for the year 2009.
The Cabinet assigned the Ministerial Committee for Development and Infrastructure Projects to follow up on the completion of the implementation process for planning and re-planning purposes, in light of the memorandum submitted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Development Projects and Infrastructure.
3. The Cabinet reviewed efforts made to mitigate the effect of the temporary suspension of studies in public and private schools, particularly ways to enhance the role of interactive e-educational portals and e-learning systems and employing digital educational content and other e-educational services as needed.
Efforts include broadcasting academic content, 8 hours per day, on the second sports channel of Bahrain TV and on YouTube. The broadcasts would be presented by a group of teachers and specialists, and form part of a joint memorandum submitted by His Excellency the Minister of Education and the Minister of Information Affairs Authority.
4. The Cabinet referred a memorandum regarding training job seekers to the Government Executive Committee. The memorandum, which relates to the apprenticeship program presented by HE the Minister of Labour and Social Development, would ensure the training and qualification of the national workforce to expedite their employment within the labour market.
5. The Cabinet approved a draft decree ratifying the common customs cooperation agreement between the Customs Affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the General Authority of Customs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the mutual recognition of the economic operator program approved by each of the entities.
The memorandum was submitted by HE the Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislation Affairs.
6. The Cabinet approved a draft law, submitted by HE the Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislation Affairs, ratifying the statute of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation work center, and referred it to Legislative Authority.
7. The Cabinet approved a draft resolution regarding the determination and regulation of civil aviation fees and the fee for departing services by air, in light of the memorandum submitted for this purpose by the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunication
8. The Cabinet referred a trilateral MoU submitted by the Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs, to the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Financial Balance. The MoU relates to an agreement on Al-Fareej Stadiums, between the Ministry of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Housing, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs.
9. The Cabinet approved a draft law amending Item (D) of Article (23) of the Law on Correspondance and Electronic Transactions issued by Decree Law No. (54) for the year 2018 prepared in light of the proposal of a law submitted by the Shura Council, to the Council of Representatives.
10. The Cabinet referred a draft law amending Article (1) of Decree Law No. (27) of 2015 regarding commercial registrations, prepared in light of the proposal for a law submitted by the Shura Council, accompanied by the government’s opinion, to the Council of Representatives.
The Cabinet then reviewed the following reports submitted by the Minister of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning:
• Developments in implementing infrastructure services in the Al Gufool area, based on the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister.
• Road and infrastructure projects that have been implemented to ease the flow of traffic
• Projects under implementation, including the establishment of a rainwater drainage network, sanitation services, and restoring a water park
The Cabinet reviewed a report submitted by the Minister of Health on the outcomes of the GCC Ministers of Health video conference meeting on COVID-19. A report submitted by the Minister of Oil on the outcomes of the meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), held in Geneva recently, was also reviewed.
The Cabinet further reviewed a report submitted by the Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs on the positive growth the sector has achieved, following the increase in revenues and support provided by the private sector to finance sports activities, which amounted to about 1.9 million dinars
Source: Bahrain News Agency