His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa chaired the regular weekly Cabinet session, attended by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, at the Gudaibiya Palace yesterday.
The cabinet affirmed the government’s keenness to carry on its efforts to develop services and improve urban planning across the kingdom’s towns and villages.
The session praised, marking the World Habitat Day 2018, the landmark sustainable development achievements attained by the kingdom during His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s prosperous era, stressing the government’s plans to implement more initiatives that would consolidate the quality of life and contribute to putting forward a comprehensive modern vision of towns and cities.
HRH the Prime Minister gave directives to continue efforts aimed at providing the best high-quality services for the elderly to ensure decent life for them, in recognition of their role in building the nation and society.
HRH Premier, marking the International Day for Older Persons, reiterated the government’s appreciation of and pride in the giving of the elderly and their dedication in the service of the homeland.
HRH the Prime Minister requested the High Urban Planning Committee, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, to determine the site of the new health centre in Budaiya, ahead of taking the necessary technical and administrative procedures for the building of the health facility.
HRH Premier, while commenting on a report presented by the Labour and Social Development Minister on the labour market’s indicators in the first half of 2018, gave directives to launch more initiatives that would attract Bahrainis to decent jobs in the private sector, stressing the need to increase coordination with the private sector to ensure that its training programmes are based on its real needs to ensure Bahraini job-seekers’ speedy access to decent jobs that suit their qualifications and level of training.
The session was informed that the employment movement during the first half of this year is progressing steadily in the private sector due to the stability in the labour market, and as a result of the new investments.
The minister’s report showed an increase in the rate of the national workforce in the private sector by 2.4% during the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2017.
Figures indicated that a total of 12,000 Bahrainis had been recruited by the private sector during the first half of 2018.
They also revealed that the unemployment rate had remained at 4.1%, and that 3,400 citizens had benefitted from the training programmes offered by the Labour and Social Development Ministry.
The session reviewed the progress of the implementation of HRH Premier’s directives to follow up on the needs of villages, cities and regions regarding youth and sports facilities and activities through a memorandum presented by the Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs.
The minister’s memorandum highlighted the progress made regarding the establishment of administrative buildings, new facilities and new stadiums with artificial turf, maintenance of existing stadiums and the building of youth and sports centres in Qalali, Umm al-Hassam, Hoora, Zalaq, Duraz, Sitra, Bani Jamra, Al-Qurayyahand Askar.
The cabinet followed up on the measures taken by ministries and government departments to reduce their spending, as part of the government’s efforts to reduce expenditure.
In this context, the session was informed, through a memorandum submitted by the Electricity and Water Affairs Minister, on the programnme of the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) to reduce its expenditure.
EWA’s programme, the memorandum showed, resulted in improving the efficiency of the performance and cutting down expenses by 46%.
The good results were achieved thanks to the issuance of electronic bills, the use of energy-saving lamps, and the decrease of subscribers’ arrears by 50%, among others.
HRH the Prime Minister commended the efforts exerted by the Electricity and Water Affairs Minister, and EWA’s affiliates to reduce expenditure.
The session approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between Bahrain’s Information and e-Government Authority (iGA) and Kuwait’s Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA).
Under the MoU, presented by the Minister of Interior, iGA and CITRA will cooperate in the field of cloud computing.
The cabinet discussed the kingdom’s accession to the International Solar Alliance as a partner. The memorandum presented by the Electricity and Water Affairs Minister in this regard was referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs.
The session was informed, through a report presented by the Minister of Labour and Social Development, about the results of the afternoon outdoor work ban that was implemented during the summer season.
The report showed that the Labour Ministry had carried out 10,300 inspection visits to 1241 work sites, and found that 98.5% complied with the ban.
The cabinet followed up, through a report presented by the Minister of Health, on the measures taken to conduct a comprehensive study in cooperation with the World Health Organisation on the types of pollution, including electromagnetic emissions, and the study’s progress.
The session referred to the Council of Representatives a draft-law on amending the Municipal Elections Law, and another on amending Law on Recovering the Costs of the Establishment and Development of Infrastructure in Urban Areas, along with memoranda highlighting the government’s opinion on each of them.