MPs unanimously approved yesterday an urgent proposal to defer loans for an interest-free period of two months to help families cope with Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr expenses.

The proposal by five MPs led by Mohammed Janahi will now be reviewed by the Cabinet.Under the proposal, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has been urged to issue a decision halting loan instalments as families were in need of cash to buy their needs whether food or clothing.“It is our job to reduce the burden on nationals faced with inflated prices, Ramadan and Eid needs, and also simply paying bills,” said Mr Janahi. “We want people to live Ramadan in peace and calm without worrying about having no money to meet their needs.”MPs also voted unanimously on an urgent proposal to find solutions for Bahrainis whose contracts with ministries and other government bodies were terminated before Ramadan.

The urgent proposal has been signed by five MPs led by Bahrainisation Probe Committee head Muneer Suroor.“I received complaints from 30 individuals all from my area that they were let go without their contracts being renewed by some ministries and government bodies,” said Mr Suroor.“Those Bahrainis were sacked before Ramadan, a time when everyone should be showing consideration and care. Alternative jobs should be found for those Bahrainis who are now without any source of income.”Also approved unanimously was another urgent proposal to stop the Sunni Waqf Directorate from charging people between BD100 and BD300 for using mosque halls for events.Such halls were offered for weddings and charity events for free before the introduction of the new fees.All three will be now reviewed by the Cabinet.Meanwhile, Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan, who is also Labour Market Regulatory Authority board chairman, said 96 wage disputes have been resolved over the past 13 months, it has been revealed.

He added 98.4 per cent of wage dispute cases received between December 12, 2022 and January 30, 2024 were resolved within one to three weeks.The minister explained that inspectors visit the workplace to validate the complaint and employers or anyone representing them are summoned for enquiry.He added that if the offence is repeated or if the employer fails to comply with the orders, then the case gets referred to the Public Prosecution.Mr Humaidan was responding to a question by MP Jalal Kadhem on wage complaints and ways of resolving them.Also, the minister said in another response to a question by Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and national security committee vice-chairwoman Dr Mariam Al Dhaen that new rules were being created for labour accommodation.He said under a newly-proposed article to be added to the 2012 Private Sector Employment Law, employers who provide accommodation for their staff would be obliged to declare their whereabouts and allow inspections to ensure standards are followed.Under the amendments, which are being reviewed by the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs, accommodation standards would be drawn up in co-ordination with the Bahrain Chamber and trade unions.Mr Humaidan further explained that specific locations would soon be determined for labour camps outside urban areas through a ministerial decision currently under review with other relevant authorities.

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