Bahrain to Privatize Government Agencies
Bahrain is to begin privatizing Government services, under the guidance of a specially created watchdog, according to a report by Gulf Daily News.
The paper said that the Shura Council backed on Tuesday a proposal to set up a Supreme Privatization Council, to be chaired by Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Its members will include the Finance and National Economy Minister, Commerce Minister, Oil and Industry Minister and Labor and Social Affairs Minister, in addition to five “qualified members from the private sector, with knowledge and expertise in the financial and economic field,” according to the draft.
The Shura, or consultative, council, which acts as a parliament pending establishment of elected legislature in 2003, reviewed 25 clauses in a privatization master plan, which will now go back to the cabinet for final approval.
A variety of safeguards have been built into the draft, said the report.
“For instance, no Shura Council member or council employee, or any member of their families, will be allowed to own or run companies which take over Government services,” said GDN.
Government employees whose departments are privatized will be secure in their jobs for at least three years, with the same benefits, and consumer rights will be protected, with strict standards on prices and quality of services, the lawmakers agreed.
Bahrainis okayed in mid February constitutional changes in a referendum that won 97.4 percent of votes – Albawaba.com