The weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Gudaibiya Palace took a strong exception of the violent attacks targeting public schools.
Briefing the media, the State Minister for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab said that the Minister of Education would submit the proposals to ensure the security and safety of the students at every cost.
In the beginning of the meeting, HRH the Prime Minister welcomed the results of the visit of HRH the Crown Prince Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier to Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, noting that such visits add new dimensions to the relations between the aforementioned nations and enhance mutual understanding, as well as support friendly ties and cooperation with the Kingdom of Bahrain.
HRH the Premier then ordered a more expeditious disbursement of pensions with back-pay starting from January 2013 as soon as the draft law of budgets is issued. He instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Development and Social Insurance Authority to take necessary procedures regarding the disbursements in accordance with the criteria agreed upon by the legislative authorities. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the legislative authorities for their cooperation with the government regarding the draft budget, and the Cabinet highlighted the efforts of Shura Council to pass the budget draft law in the exceptional session held last Thursday.
In order to enhance the role of financial self-auditing in Government agencies, activate the role of internal government audit and ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the National Audit Office report, the Prime Minister directed all Ministries and government entities to disclose to the Ministry of Finance all reports published by the National Audit Office for the year 2012, along with the Ministries’ plans to deal with the issues stated in said reports.
The Cabinet discussed a new draft law bill for Commercial enterprises to replace the Commercial Law Decree 21 (issued in 2001). The new law will keep pace with the development of the business, investment, technological and legislative environment in the Kingdom, as well as enhance economic competitiveness; cope with the Bahrain 2030 vision; and fulfill the recommendations of the National Dialogue to enhance economic competitiveness. The Cabinet forwarded the draft law – which consists of a preamble and 293 articles divided into 13 chapters – to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs.
The Cabinet discussed what has already been achieved regarding the recommendations of the Human Rights Council 13th Cycle as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and voluntary periodic report on what have been achieved. The Cabinet reviewed the recommendations that have been fully implemented, as well as the recommendations that are being studied and followed-up. The Cabinet then directed all Ministries and government entities who have not achieved full implementation of the recommendations to take all necessary procedures to do so and delegated the specialized committee involved with Human Rights to follow up the matter and ensure the completion of the recommendations.
The Cabinet agreed that the Ministry of State for Communication will be the specialized authority to receive cell tower permit requests, issue the final approvals in coordination with Ministries’ representatives and receive requests and complaints. MoSC will be in charge of correcting the current cell tower violations and study its effect on the surrounding environment to ensure that the emission of electromagnetic waves fall within the limits of national and international standards. The Cabinet instructed the concerned authorities to amend Decree 5 (2012) on the regulations of radio communication stations and networks to include the recent decision.
The Cabinet approved the final signing on the rules of origin agreement for the Trade Preferential System Among the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the protocol plan for preferential tariffs related to the trade preferential system (PRETAS); delegated the final signing to the Minister of Finance on behalf of the Bahraini Government; and assigned specialized authorities to take the necessary technical and legal procedures.
The Cabinet approved a draft law bill for ratification of the (Shariah compliant) Istisna agreement, Istisna agency, Istisna insurance and sale to ensure funding the improvement and development of the water transfer network project between the Government of Bahrain and the Islamic Development Bank, in order to finance the second phase of the project. The Cabinet assigned the concerned authorities to take the necessary constitutional and legal procedures for sending the bill to the Legislative authorities.
In light of the government’s adoption of the national project for centralized ambulance services that aim to provide high quality urgent medical services to patients before they arrive at the hospital, the implementation phase will begin when the budget for said project is designated. The project includes the development of 10 centers under Civil Defense with fully equipped ambulances. The Cabinet approved the request put forth by the House of Representatives to allocate an ambulance center in each of the Kingdom’s governorates and approved the transfer of the ambulance center from its current location in the Emergency Department in Salmaniya Medical Complex to its own building.
The Cabinet noted the ratification by the Shura Council and House of Representatives of the amendments of Decree Number 4 (for the year 2001) regarding the prohibition and combat of money laundry and financing terrorism, which was amended by Law Number 54 (2006). The Cabinet assigned the concerned authorities to prepare to submit the draft law to His Majesty the King of Bahrain in preparation for its issuance.