Bahrain - The country’s municipal councillors are reviewing a move to delay rent on municipal properties for at least three months to ease financial pressure on businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proposal has been backed in its initial stage by all three municipal councils – Northern, Southern and Muharraq – and the Capital Trustees Board. Only the Southern Municipal Council has doubled the deferral period in its proposal from three months to six months, while the others have suggested an extension pending assessment.

During a video meeting yesterday the Northern Municipal Council’s financial, administrative and legislative committee also approved the move for three months pending an extension on assessment.

The proposal will be voted on during Monday’s session.“Everyone is slashing or dropping rent and we should do the same for municipal properties in such a difficult time,” said Northern Municipal Council chairman Ahmed Al Kooheji.“Three months pending an extension is the best approach until we get an update on the situation with Covid-19.”

However, the Southern Municipal Council approved a similar move but added a provision that rents should be deferred for six months instead.“The government wants to help businesses survive beyond the Coronavirus storm and as municipal representatives we should help them,” said Southern Municipal Council chairman Bader Al Tamimi.“Those businesses, whether recreational or commercial, are closed as a precaution or are barely seeing business.“Six months is the right call and not three months as time is needed for recovery even when the situation settles.”

The proposal will be voted on at next Wednesday’s council meeting.The Capital Trustees Board also approved the move as an initial stage during a video conference meeting yesterday, while the Muharraq Municipal Council passed the move during its meeting on Monday.

Other measures taken to offset the impact of the coronavirus include the approval of financial stimulus package worth BD4.3 billion under eight initiatives.They include a waiver on electricity and water bills for all accounts – including individuals and commercial – for three months and a delay of bank loan instalments for six months for those impacted by the virus.

Withdrawing BD215 million from the Unemployment Fund to pay for the wages of Bahrainis in the private sector for the next three months is also among the initiatives which has been approved by Parliament and will be voted on by the Shura Council on Sunday.The other initiatives include doubling the Liquidity Fund to BD200 million, and exempting tourism facilities from tourism fees for three months.


© Copyright 2019

Copyright 2020 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

Disclaimer: The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article. Read our full disclaimer policy here.