A special session of the Bahraini cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, resulted in the approval of substantially expanded government budgets for both 2001 and 2002, which respectively will grow by 12.4 percent and 14.1 percent, when compared to the 2000 budget. The projects section of the budget was referred to the Shura (advisory) Council for review.
According to the approved budgets, expenditures in 2001 will equal 823 million Bahraini dinars (BD), and in 2002 they will reach BD 835 million for 2002. Forecast revenues for the same period BD 669 million for 2001 and BD 675 million for 2002.
Infrastructure projects make up a substantial portion of the extra expenditure, and they including development of the Hawar Islands. Spending on infrastructure will account for BD 160 million in 2001 and BD 160 million in 2002.
The prime minister also outlined a number of strategic projects to be carried out between 2001 and 2004 at an estimated cost of BD 450 million. According to the Gulf Daily News they include the Khalifa bin Salman Port, a new industrial area at Hidd, a number of land reclamation projects designed to provide more space for residential and tourism developments, the expansion of power and water stations, construction of a new hospital in Muharraq, and the upgrading of aviation. – (Albawaba-MEBG)