PENSIONERS will receive a BD40 increase in the monthly cost-of-living allowance, it was announced.

Those with a salary of less than BD700, who currently receive an allowance of BD150, will receive BD190.

Meanwhile, those receiving between BD701 and BD1,500, currently getting BD125, will receive BD165.

Payments will also be made retroactively to pensioners, for the period from January to June – with pensioners receiving a lump sum of BD240.

Public sector employees currently receiving BD60 cost-of-living allowance will receive an additional BD40 immediately – totalling BD100 – while those receiving BD50 will receive an additional BD35 – totalling BD85 – starting June – positively impacting 94 per cent of beneficiaries.

Details were revealed yesterday following a meeting held between the executive and legislative authorities to reach a consensus on salary increase and pensions.

It was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Musallam and Shura Council Chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh.

Present were ministers, MPs, Shura Council members and officials.

Multiple initiatives to enhance the standard of living for citizens and achieve financial stability – in line with maintaining the implementation of the Fiscal Balance Programme – were discussed while also ensuring that mechanisms are in place to reduce expenditure and increase revenues.

Parliament’s financial and economic affairs committee chairman Mohammed Al Ahmed highlighted that work was also underway to expand initiatives to support Bahrainis working in the private sector.

He also added that support for people with severe disabilities would be doubled from BD100 to BD200.

“These consensuses are the result of fruitful meetings between the legislative and executive authorities and what was agreed upon is an unprecedented achievement in light of the current financial challenges,” he said yesterday.

“Initiatives will be launched by Labour Fund Tamkeen – which were agreed upon – to raise the salaries of citizens in the private sector and work is underway on legislation to deduct sums from the Unemployment Fund for the benefit of Tamkeen to expand its initiatives in support of Bahrainis in the private sector.

“As a committee, we were able to extract part of these funds from the budget, provided that the deficits are financed as they are, without any additional matters.”

He added that an agreement was reached to develop non-oil revenues in a way that doesn’t harm citizens by raising tourism and aviation fees.

Mr Al Ahmed said that “there is a strong possibility that the state’s general budget for the fiscal years 2023 to 2024 could be reviewed during Parliament’s session tomorrow”.

He also said that an agreement was reached to maintain a $60-a-barrel for oil prices in the budget while also raising the public debt ceiling by BD1 billion to BD16bn as cover.

“The increase positively impacting 94pc of Bahrainis in the public sector is considered a national achievement,” said Shura Council financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati.

“Work will continue to achieve the Fiscal Balance Programme and Economic Recovery Plan through joint initiatives between the legislative and executive authorities.

“The budget deficit, after reclassifying some clauses and reducing expenditures in government agencies, is estimated to be BD520m in 2023 and BD160m in 2024 which can be overcome through everyone’s co-operation.”

He added that initiatives aimed at increasing the wages of Bahrainis in the private sector in certain specialisations and professions are underway while work is being done to raise the fees for non-Bahraini employees.


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