Cabinet Holds Weekly Meeting

Manama, Dec. 30 (BNA)—His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa chaired at Gudaibiya Palace today the weekly cabinet meeting.

The ministerial council hailed the outcomes of the 33rd GCC Summit, hosted recently by Bahrain. It described Al-Sakhir declaration as an added value to the GCC march, citing mainly endorsement of the amended security agreement, the GCC leaders’ agreement to set up a united military command and recommendations to expedite economic integration.

The summit’s communiqué mirrored resolve of the GCC member states to confront political, economic, social and security challenges collectively, the cabinet heard, praising the positive spirit which reigned the summit and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s wise presidency of the current session as a key factor of success.

Marking the advent of the New Year 2013, the cabinet wished the world more security, stability and welfare.

The council hailed Bahrain’s signing of six agreements with the Saudi Fund for Development, as part of the “GCC Marshall Plan”, to help Bahrain meet its development needs.

The cabinet commended the GCC support to Bahrain, underscoring Saudi Arabia’s backing under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

His Royal Highness the Prime Minister instructed relevant ministries to take the necessary security procedures, mainly in popular suqs, by providing CCTV cameras in those areas and surrounding ones as well as activating the Civil Defence laws and bills.

The directives were given after the cabinet had been updated on the results of an investigation into Isa Town popular suq fire which was conducted by a committee that was set up following an order by HRH the Premier in this regard.

The investigation results were presented by Interior Minister Lieutenant General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa.

In light of a report by Labour Minister Jamil bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan on a fire which gutted a workers’ home in Riffa last May, the cabinet decided to set up joint work teams to inspect labour houses in coordination with relevant parties, including municipal councils, and assess the level of danger in them.

The council tasked a committee, headed by the Interior Ministry and comprising representatives from the Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry, the Labour and Health Ministries, the Electricity and Water Affairs Authority and any other concerned side, to carry out the recommendations included in the technical report.

Consequently, the committee will take charge of working out a mechanism to license labour accommodation in a way the leasing contract will become legal only if it is approved by a specialized government body.

The committee will also have to determine residential areas where bachelor workers’ accommodation can be authorized providing houses meet technical, hygienic and safety regulations.

Out of keenness to guarantee freedom of expression and adherence of mass media to laws and regulations, the cabinet discussed setting up a supreme authority for media and communication that will take charge of proposing regulations to develop the press and media sector and work out criteria to monitor the media content and advertisements and ensure they comply with the constitution and the ethics of the profession.

The ministerial council decided to refer the draft decree, submitted by State Minister for Information Affairs Samira bint Ibrahim Rajab to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs for further study.

The cabinet discussed setting up unified technical and architectural standards for government buildings and tasked the Ministerial Committee for Services and Infrastructure to study the proposal.

Within the same context, the council got informed about a memorandum submitted by Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa on constructing the Culture Ministry’s new building as well as the technical and financial needs to carry out the project. It tasked the Culture Ministry to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance in this regard.

The cabinet directed to maximize economic, social and cultural benefits from choosing “Manama the Capital of Arab Tourism” for 2013 and instructed mainly the Ministry of Finance to coordinate with the Culture Ministry to further boost Bahrain’s status as an ideal tourism destination.

The cabinet delegated the Transportation Minister to sign, on behalf of Bahrain, an agreement with Saudi Arabia on cooperation in the air navigation field. It tasked competent bodies to issue the needed authorization document.

The ministerial council approved a demand to withdraw the Commerce Registrar draft law submitted to the legislative power, following a memorandum by Industry and Commerce Minister Dr. Hassan bin Abdullah Fakhro.

The cabinet approved in principle a proposal by the Representatives Council on setting up dialysis centres nationwide.

It also approved a proposal to provide a solution for disorganized and unsafe telephone and electrical cables and wires fixed to houses’ walls. It directed the Electricity and Water Authority as well as the Ministerial Committee for Services and Infrastructure to draw up plans to tackle the issue.

The cabinet approved a proposal by the Representatives Council regarding a housing project in Budaiya.

The project consists of 146 housing units and 6 buildings with 96 flats carried out by the government in the afore-mentioned region.


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