No disagreement with parliament on GAP: Minister

Gudaibia Palace: There is no disagreement with parliament on the four-year proposed Government Action Plan (GAP) which likely to be passed within the constitutional timeframe, according to the Minister Information Affairs.

“There have been discussions between the relevant committees from the executive side and the Chamber of Deputies on various projections specified in the GAP since the plan had been submitted to Chamber on January 6th,” Information Affairs Minister, Isa Abdulrahman Al Hammadi, on Monday told a post cabinet meeting press briefing at Gudaibia Palace.

There are, he said, seven issues particularly taken up by the Chamber of Deputies and those had been quickly responded by the respective committees and keeping in view this momentum the GAP is likely to be approved before the constitutional timeframe i.e. February 6th.
On number of occasions, the replies were submitted within a day so that process should maintain a fast track approach and the issues which have financial or budgetary implications are dealt with accordingly. For example, the number of housing units initially was 20,000 which had been increased to 40,000 units, the Minister Information, who is also Government’s Official Spokesperson, explains.

In the GAP, he said, the number of new health centers was four and the parliament is asking to increase to six, which involves financial implications.

“The new health centers will be established across the Kingdom as part of the Government’s priority to ensure the health services for the people of Bahrain,” he added.

The Minister also denied any deadlock on the funding of any of the projects from the national budget or GCC Development Programme saying that both options can be utilised to ensure the funding of any developmental projects.

Once the GAP is approved, the Government will put up the national budget before the parliament for consideration, he explains while referring to the constitutional status of the GAP and the national budget.

He reaffirmed the government’s keenness to expedite the approval of the state general budget after the Government Action Plan (GAP) to be endorsed by the Representatives Council according to constitutional procedures and schedules to ensure citizen-oriented projects and initiatives are not affected.

The 2012 constitutional amendments stipulated that the government should submit its GAP to the Parliament within 30 days after the new cabinet was sworn in.

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