Bahrain MPs reject as “un-Islamic” government loan for race circuit and resort
In what was supposed to be a routine weekly session, the Islamist-dominated Bahraini parliament surprisingly rejected a $500 million loan deal signed between the Bahraini government and an international consortium to finance four development projects in the tiny Gulf island state. Members of parliament rejected the projects as “un-Islamic”.
The consortium was set up to finance the construction of a Formula 1 racing circuit, the development of a tourism resort in Bandar Al-Seef, an expansion project at Bahrain Aluminum (Alba) and the modernization plan for Bahrain Petrol Company's (Bapco) refinery.
"If Formula One comes to Bahrain then bets will follow and if the resort opens, then prostitutes will pour into the country more than before," the chairman of Bahrain’s parliamentary Services Committee, Isa Al-Mutawa, told Gulf Daily News.
MPs stated they required detailed and transparent plans before endorsing the deals and added that the government should have borrowed the money from Islamic banks to avoid paying 'usury' (interests), reported Gulf News.
The 40-member House of Deputies refused to endorse the government bonds issue, signed December 2002, with a consortium comprising of BNP-Paribas, International Solomon Brothers and City Group's Schroeder-Solomon-Smith-Barney.
The appointed Shura Council, the 40-member upper house of the National Assembly, is scheduled to discuss the motion Monday, February 10, ahead of a full National Assembly meeting that would convene for a final decision. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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