Manama, Jan. 25 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has praised the outstanding success of the fourth Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS 2016), which saw a record number of participants and record number of deals agreed at the event. The high-profile event was held under the auspices of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
While chairing today’s Cabinet session at Gudaibiya Palace, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister commended the tireless efforts of HM the King’s Personal Representative and President of BIAS Supreme Organising Committee, His Highness Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the efforts of the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, in preparing and delivering a successful event.
The Cabinet welcomed His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s visit to the Council of Representatives, describing it as a reflection of the government’s keenness to further strengthen the cooperation and collaboration between the executive and legislative authorities, Secretary-General of the Cabinet Dr Yaser bin Essa Al-Nasser said in a statement following the session.
The Cabinet then stressed the importance of the arts and cultural sectors in Bahrain, and His Royal Highness praised the success of the 42nd Bahrain Fine Arts Exhibition, which was held recently under his patronage.
The Cabinet also welcomed the successful outcomes of the first Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-Indian Forum, which was hosted in Bahrain recently. The Cabinet hailed the regional and international agreements made on a range of issues, as reflected in the Manama Declaration issued by the forum.
The Cabinet then discussed the acquisition of lands for public interest and the requirement for ministries and government departments to seek approval before the acquisition process begins. The Cabinet noted that government departments should also make sure that they have the necessary funds available in their budgets.
In this regard, His Royal Highness issued directives to all ministries and government departments to swiftly compensate the owners of land and real estate that had been acquired recently. The Ministerial Committee for Urbanisation and Infrastructure was requested to follow up on the matter in accordance with the provisions of Law 39/2009.
While reiterating the government’s commitment to removing obstacles facing small business owners, His Royal Highness requested the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism to coordinate with the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to provide the necessary facilities for small business owners to deal with the current economic challenges.
In regards to agriculture, His Royal Highness issued instructions to expand the use of treated water in the irrigation of the land in the south of the country to increase greenery in those areas. The Water Resources Council was tasked with developing the necessary proposals in this regard.
Concerning efforts to strengthen cooperation between the government and the legislative branch, the Cabinet gave directives to ministries and state departments to provide all necessary data and information required by parliamentary committees, to enable the committees to be well-sighted on potential policy developments.
The Cabinet reviewed recommendations submitted by the Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs and tasked the panel to put forward a unified mechanism for dealing with government-parliamentary committee collaboration.
The Cabinet then endorsed a plan to re-structure the Tender Board by adjusting its affiliation to the Technical Affairs Directorate, as highlighted in the memorandum submitted by the Deputy Premier and Deputy Chairman of the Civil Service Council.
The Cabinet discussed a memorandum presented by the Interior Minister regarding the Kingdom’s honouring of its commitment to implement policies related to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. In this regard, the session was informed about the steps taken so far by the Interior Ministry, which was set out in a report prepared by the Independent Evaluation Unit of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The report was referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs for further review.
The Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) presented by the Interior Minister regarding bilateral security cooperation between Bahrain and Tunisia.
On infrastructure, the Cabinet reviewed the roads, sanitation and construction projects implemented by the Works Affairs at the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning. According to the memorandum presented by the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, 130 tenders worth BD144 million were awarded in 2015. They included 69 tenders valued at BD49 million, and 61 tenders valued at BD71 million. The tenders awarded for projects under the umbrella of the GCC Development Fund were worth BD24 million.
The Cabinet also approved the government’s replies to three proposals submitted by the Council of Representatives, as recommended by the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs. The proposals included the building of a secondary school in the first constituency of the Northern Governorate, and the establishment of a sports medicine hospital and a car park in Shakhoura village.