Bahraini homeowners will be exempted from paying infrastructure levy for demolishing and reconstructing their homes.

The Shura Council yesterday unanimously approved amendments to the 2015 Infrastructure Cost and Development Law that would see Bahrainis being also allowed to make additions to their homes.

The current rule, as stipulated in a ministerial edict by Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf, exempts Bahrainis owners of social homes or those who rebuild existing homes from paying the levy, but they are restricted to the same space with no expansion allowed.

The levy is currently charged on property owners who tear down their run-down homes and rebuild new larger residential dwellings.

The new relaxed amendments, which have been backed by Mr Khalaf, were approved by MPs last month and will be now ratified by His Majesty King Hamad.

Under the law, BD12 per square metre is charged on all developments in a bid to fund infrastructure projects such as roads network, sewerage systems, electricity and water schemes.

The levy aims to support the state budget by collecting money from property developers to fund infrastructure in under-developed areas.

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