HRH Crown Prince chairs weekly Cabinet meeting

Manama: His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, today chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.

Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, HE Dr. Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, made the following remarks:

The Cabinet extended best wishes to HM the King, HRH the Prime Minister, HRH the Crown Prince, the people of Bahrain, and the Arab and Islamic ummas, on the occasion of the Prophet’s Birthday, Peace Be Upon Him.

HRH the Crown Prince lauded the success of the Bahrain International Defense Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC 2019), which was held under the patronage of HM the King. HRH extended thanks to the countries and participants that took part in the event and praised the professionalism and efforts of the Kingdom’s armed forces, for their role in organising the second edition of the conference.

HRH the Crown Prince went on to direct the Supreme Council of Health to cooperate with the Ministry of Health, to conduct an evaluation study, in coordination with specialists and international technical expertise, on the the suspected contamination at Salmaniya Medical Centre.

Later, a number of submissions, memorandums and proposed laws were discussed during the meeting.

The Cabinet outlined the following outcomes:

1. HRH the Crown Prince highlighted the achievements made by Bahraini women, highlighting their key contributions to the Kingdom’s comprehensive development, which led by HM the King. HRH the Crown Prince emphasised the importance of further supporting the efforts of the Supreme Council for Women, chaired by its President and wife of HM the King, HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, in order to reinforce the advancement of Bahraini women in all fields.

In this regard, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Finance and National Economy to coordinate with the Supreme Council for Women to implement measures and adopt necessary budgets to ensure continued women’s advancement and the provision of equal opportunities, in line with the memorandum submitted by the Minister of Finance and National Economy.

2. The Cabinet approved the results of the 2017-2018 National Gender Balance Report. The report, recommended by the Government’s Executive Committee, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, and prepared by the Supreme Council for Women, was presented by the Minister of Finance and National Economy. The Cabinet directed the report be referred to the National Committee for Information and Population, and further directed for the establishment of a joint committee between the Supreme Council for Women, the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, and the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of the report, in cooperation with relevant authorities.

The report indicates an increase in the Kingdom’s gender balance index from 60% in 2016 to 64% for the average period of 2017-2018. The report further indicated an increase in the gender balance index within various fields from 64% in 2016 to 68% for the average period of 2017-2018, and an increase in the institutional performance indicators from 56% in 2016 to 59% for the average period of 2017-2018.

3. HRH the Crown Prince directed that

the awarding process of tenders for wide-ranging development projects be expedited, adding that relevant bodies should ensure projects are implemented within specified budgets and proposed time frames, in light of the Cabinet’s assessment of the implementation of government projects supervised by the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning.

A report was submitted by the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning, revealing that the number of projects underway increased by 194% in 2019 compared with 2018, with a total of 50 projects costing BHD 126 million in 2018, compared to 115 projects costing BHD 371 million in 2019. The development projects are all related to road networks, sanitation and construction.

4. The Cabinet reviewed a Draft Law amending provisions of Decree Law no. (48) of the year 2012, regarding the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Cabinet reviewed the recommendations by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs, before deciding to postpone the memorandum to its next session for further review.

5. The Cabinet approved a proposal submitted by the Supreme Council of Health to establish four committees. The four resolutions detailed in the proposal outline the establishment of the Higher Committee for Treatment Abroad, the National Committee for the Unified Procurement of Medicines and Medical Supplies, the Health Quality and Clinical Standards Committee, and the Health Strategic Training and Planning Committee.

6. The Cabinet discussed the enactment of a National Space Law that would regulate all applications related to space science, meeting the Kingdom’s far-reaching aspirations, and building on Bahrain’s accession to two international treaties within the field of space science.

The Cabinet directed the National Space Science Agency (NSSA), in collaboration and coordination with relevant authorities, to prepare a draft of the Kingdom’s National Space Law, in line with a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications.

7. The Cabinet approved the establishment of a World Health Organization (WHO) office within the Kingdom, to further strengthen bilateral cooperation within the health sector and to initiate the main agreement signed on the provision of technical health advisory assistance, in line with a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Health.

8. The Cabinet followed up on 94 projects that are being implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs, as part of the Government Programme, and aim to further strengthen the Kingdom’s financial sustainability and economic development.

The projects include the establishment and development of sports infrastructure and youth facilities across the Kingdom, of which 62 projects are under implementation and 32 have been completed.

9. The Cabinet approved a response by the government to a proposal submitted by the Council of Representatives on the teaching of sign language for school students.

In the ministerial reports item, the Cabinet reviewed a report submitted by the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunication on the outcomes of the 2019 Future Investment Initiative Forum, held recently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the sidelines of the event, a contract was signed with a consultancy company ahead of the implementation of the King Hamad Causeway project, and the linking of a railway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The Cabinet also noted the outcomes of the 5th meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee and the 82nd General Conference of the Council of Ministers of Health in the Sultanate of Oman, submitted by the Minister of Health.

Source: Bahrain News Agency