Merging government institutions preliminary step to tackle financial challenges

Merging government institutions preliminary step to tackle financial challenges

Manama, Oct. 5 (BNA): Information and Shura and Representatives Councils Affairs Minister Isa Abdulrahman Al Hammadi underlined the government’s keenness to boost citizens’ welfare without encroaching on their gains. Speaking in the post-cabinet press conference, he affirmed that the decisions taken to merge ministries and government institutions aim first and foremost at tackling the current

Manama, Oct. 5 (BNA): Information and Shura and Representatives Councils Affairs Minister Isa Abdulrahman Al Hammadi underlined the government’s keenness to boost citizens’ welfare without encroaching on their gains. Speaking in the post-cabinet press conference, he affirmed that the decisions taken to merge ministries and government institutions aim first and foremost at tackling the current economic and financial challenges without affecting Bahraini citizens’ life.

He said citizens’ interests have always been top priority for the government and the decisions to merge ministries and government institutions are part of its constant endeavour to work out suitable solutions for economic challenges, mend the gap between revenues and expenditure, create new investment opportunities and prepare a sound economic basis to deal with economic challenges.

The minister assured that the merger decisions would not lead to cutting down the number of employees in the public sector. He expressed hope the decisions taken by the government would yield positive results, pointing out that the cabinet discussed today laws of economic nature to create flexibility in the economic sector that would help spur more investments. He pointed out that the number of ministers has gone down from 23 to 18 and, then, 16 which reflects a general trend to reduce the government expenditure to tackle financial challenges. He also added that steps taken, like redirecting the government subsidy and the decision to merge 10 government institutions, clearly show the government’s trend to cut down expenditure.

The minister pointed out the formation of a task force to reduce expenditure and deal with related issues, adding that the main aim of redirecting subsidy is to better serve citizens’ interests while ensuring the government’s capability to deal with the current financial challenges. He also noted that the criteria applied in this respect are international and were explained to citizens by the Social Development Ministry before.

The minister also revealed that the large number of citizens registering for the payout in compensation for axing meat subsidy is indicative of the consensus on preliminary principles concerning the scheme. He added that coordination is still on between the government and the legislature to reach a consensus on the implementation mechanisms. He also noted that HRH the Premier directed the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry today to take the necessary procedures to raise consumers’ awareness and control prices.

The minister explained that merging the government institutions and taking related organisational procedures will become effective as soon as a royal decree is issued in this regard. He added that the evaluation process of all schemes is going on which shows the government’s keenness on ensuring high performance with the needed competence.

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BNA 2046 GMT 2015/10/05

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