BAHRAINIS whose monthly income is below BD600 could be exempted from all state-imposed taxes under a parliamentary proposal approved unanimously by MPs yesterday.The proposed legislation has been presented by five MPs led by Mohammed Al Marafee.The MPs claim it would help low-income Bahrainis cope with increasing living expenses as taxes were adding to their burden.They also noted that this follows an agreed clause in the 2023-2026 Government Action Plan to improve the living standards of citizens.Bahrain has imposed a Value Added Tax of 10 per cent on all goods and services with 94 basic commodities, including water, rice and cooking oil being exempted.

l Parliament also unanimously approved amendments to the 2001 Companies Law presented by five MPs, also led by Mr Al Marafee.Under the amendments, company founders, partners, majority owners, board members or directors will be held responsible for any damage that may occur to the firm, its partners or shareholders and will address the crisis with their personal assets or funds.The Bahrain Chamber backed the amendment but added that the measures to be taken will depend “on their share or capacity”.The chamber also asked for a possible inclusion to allow individual voluntary insurance for liability.l Parliament voted in favour of proposed amendments to the 2002 National Audit Office Set-up Law presented by five MPs led by first deputy Speaker Abdulnabi Salman, to include all labour and sport federations under the office’s audit, monitor and scrutiny.

The proposed move was rejected in the previous term.l Parliament also voted for the second time in favour of a key amendment that would allow civil servants to obtain CRs and engage in business activities. The proposal was rejected by the Shura Council last month.MPs had earlier approved the change to the 2010 Civil Service Law. If both chambers insist on their decisions, the legislation will be referred for a joint vote by the National Assembly consisting of both chambers.The bill stipulates the inclusion of a new article in the law that will allow civil servants to take up business activities in accordance with rules specified by executive regulations, provided they are not granted more than one CR.Mr Salman said ministers, Shura Council members and MPs were allowed to have CRs, but civil servants were not.MPs also wondered if there were two governments, following the Shura Council’s rejection to tax foreign remittances

A verbal argument on the matter was also witnessed between services committee chairman Mohammed Al Hussaini and financial and economic affairs committee chairwoman Zainab Abdulamir.l MPs voted in favour of the following proposals and referred them to the Cabinet for review:1. Establishing the Louzi Youth Empowerment Centre.2. Carrying out maintenance and remodelling on the Ras Ruman Youth Empowerment Centre.A proposal to grant monthly allowances to special education teachers has been postponed for two weeks to allow changes.The Education Ministry stated that it already provides between BD50 and BD100 as allowances to such teachers.MPs were also notified about two letters from His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on two proposed parliamentary legislations to amend the 1976 Military Pension Law and the 1975 Civil Service Pension Law.The proposals will see the government’s monthly contribution to military pension increase from 20pc to 21pc, while dropping from seven to six pc for workers.Following a vote, it will be referred to the committees concerned for review.The government has already called for a rethink on the proposals.

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