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Poverty Increasing in Bahrain: 11,000 Receive Pensions Not Covering Monthly Expenses

Official data showed that about 10 thousand and 876 Bahrainis receive pensions of less than 200 dinars, which are not sufficient to cover the expenses of the monthly needs of their families.

The Social Insurance Organization indicated that there are 243 thousand and 225 foreign workers registered in Bahrain, whose salaries do not exceed 100 dinars. Salaries in Bahrain range from 370 dinars per month (the minimum wage) to 6,600 dinars per month (the maximum limit).

The General Authority expects 5 thousand and 738 employees in the public sector and 14 thousand and 874 private employees to retire in 2021.It also expected 6,597 employees from the public sector and 18,678 employees in the private sector to retire during the year 2022.

The authority responded to the inquiries of the Parliamentary Investigation Committee regarding the entry of 8 thousand and 225 Bahraini employees to the social insurance system in 2019.This compared to 7,895 employees in 2018. It explained that 41 cases of pension disbursements were discovered despite their death, and the total disbursement amounted to 676 thousand and 167 dinars.

However, 379 thousand and 328 dinars were recovered from them, and the rest was settled by paying the sums in one go or in installments.

Last week, a parliamentary investigation concluded that there are differences of more than 900 million Bahraini dinars in the accounts of the Social Insurance Organization.

The Prosecutor’s investigation committee on pension funds completed its work and submitted its final report to the House of Representatives Bureau Authority.

Concurrently, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the Bahraini Shura Council approved a decree by law to raise the public debt from 13 to 15 billion dinars in order to cover the budget deficit.

The committee considered in its justification that it was necessary to raise the limit on borrowing in an urgent manner. “This step is necessary in order for the Ministry of Finance to cover the financing needs as quickly as possible and to take advantage of global financial market conditions.”

Two years have passed since the government of the Khilafiyya regime adopted the localization of jobs, known as “Bahrainization of jobs.”

However, thousands of Bahrainis still struggle with unemployment. Youth unemployment increased dramatically in 2020, reaching 10 percent of the kingdom’s population.

The economic impacts of the COVID-18 pandemic have also led to many Bahrainis losing their jobs, but the government has not provided data on the effects of the pandemic on the labor market.

Observers believe that the real problem facing the economic crises in Bahrain lies in the corruption of its regime and its poor management of natural and human resources.

Additionally, the government constantly seeks investing public money in building personal empires for the ruling Caliph family.

Bahraini political activists and media figures accuse the royal court directly of causing a deficit in the state budget, as a result of waste and the unfair distribution of wealth, and its monopoly on one family only.”

Political activist Hassan Al-Sitri confirmed that the situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain has reached a climax of theft and indifference to the right and dignity of the citizen.

Al-Sitri criticized the Ministry of Industry and Trade imposing annual fees to obtain commercial records for household projects. That does not require an establishment and employees.

This step was met with widespread disapproval from citizens. They considered that it would tighten the screws on the livelihood of thousands of families with limited income.

The Bahraini MP, Abdul Nabi Salman, has previously spoken of the miserable living conditions for citizens in light of the lack of job opportunities and the high unemployment.

MP Salman confirmed in his intervention during a parliamentary session that Bahraini citizens “are eaten up by poverty, hunger, disease and depression in the interest of foreigners.”

“This country is trampling on its people for the sake of the benefit of foreigners,” he added. According to official data, Bahrainis constitute 45% of the population, while the percentage of foreign residents reaches 55%.

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