June 18, 2024

Bahrain’s core agenda is for putting up better economic recovery ahead of even bolstering the budget revenue


Reeling under the twin shocks of the prevalent COVID-19 Pandemic turmoil and resultant shockwave of lowered oil rates, Bahrain’s public finances have gone through a huge strain.

Post the distribution of the Gulf territory’s largest ever impetus related with the economic outcome, the Bahrain can possibly outspread the duration of aiding measures for supporting up the businesses to survive up alongside the impact of existing plus the fresh wave of COVID-19 virus.

Finance Minister for state Sheikh Salman Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa stated in an Interview that: “The current focus of the kingdom is in confirming that a projected recovery outcome gathers a swift stride the forthcoming year, post following up few of their neighbours as well as post the investigation of elevating the taxes for bolstering the revenues. He further added that the government is striving harder and performing all the requirements for confirming a positive outcome while as well as carefully scrutinizing closely the actions taken by neighbouring nations that include Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman of powering income.”

Sheikh Salman further stated that: “They are also viewing in the economic prospect, and are in lookout for the economic impact tools as well as other potential prospects that influence the economic prospects that power up revenue-boosting measures. They really wish to view the recovery prospects before taking up any further steps if required in this regard, making it their topmost priority.”

Bahrain’s public finances have come under a lot of pressure from within the twin shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as lowered Oil rates, so much so that despite a $10bn bailout package vowed by their wealthier neighbouring nations in 2018, it is not enough to dwindle its economy. The kingdom has retorted to the health emergency by progressing out an impetus package appraised by S&P Global Ratings at about 32 percent of gross domestic product, typically consisting of liquidity for lending and debt adjournment.

While Bahrain is committed to care its pledge to embrace spending under control as part of the support package that predicted a balanced budget by 2022, the government is cautious of new revenue-boosting measures that would dent growth, Sheikh Salman stated.

The smallest economy among the six Gulf Cooperation Council members, Bahrain is on track to track a budget deficit that will enlarge to double digits as a percentage of GDP this year.

Other countries that stretched relied on oil receipts have ongoing to look for fresh sources of revenue, but Bahrain has yet to take original steps since implementing value-added tax in 2019. Saudi Arabia tripled VAT earlier this year, while Oman stated that it was discovering the introduction of income tax, which would make it the primary state in the territory to do so.

Harmonizing act: –

“Even with the supplementary backup expenditure that was taken, they also took procedures to diminish spending elsewhere and were able to deliver numbers that were below accounted expenditure” for the first six months of the year, he further added.

A blend of recuperating crude prices and confidence about the impact of vaccines have assisted restore investor confidence, with the premium between Bahrain’s and Saudi government debt narrowing.

Bahrain’s primary response to the pandemic and extensive testing have empowered the economy to reopen and drive restrictions to be lifted. More than 2 million coronavirus tests have been directed in the country of 1.5 million people. It’s also approved a Covid-19 vaccination made by Pfizer for use, the second nation to do so post the UK.

Yet the economic injury from the pandemic ruins remains. Meeting the goals drew in 2018’s Fiscal Balance Plan, which tied assistance to progress tackling the shortfall, has also been made harder.

Although the funds are still anticipated to be distributed in recognition of the kingdom’s efforts to tackle spending, S&P projects gross debt – including GCC support – will upsurge toward 120 percent of GDP by 2023. Bahrain’s economy is expected to dwindle 4.9 percent this year, with increase of 2.3 percent in 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“They’ve got over the wide restriction in the economy, and now we endure to monitor certain segments that are still affected,” Sheikh Salman stated.



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