New protest over Bahrain jobs tax
Manama, June 23, 2010
Hundreds of business owners in Bahrain braved the scorching sun to protest for the 17th time against a government tax on expatriate workers.
They gathered outside the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) headquarters in Sanabis demanding the cancellation of a BD10 fee and a review of its rules and regulations.
Businessmen also repeated calls for the resignation of the body's chief executive officer Ali Radhi and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Dr Essam Fakhro.
'Even in this weather, we vow to continue the protest until our demands are met,' said protesters' spokesman and businessman Nader Allawy.
He said His Majesty King Hamad had given Bahrainis the right to protest and the group was keen to do so.
Two extra dinars are being added to the BD10 fee every month as a penalty if any business owner fails to pay it on time, claimed Allawy.
'The LMRA has been drinking our sweat,' he said.
'When that is dry, they will drink our blood.
'When our blood is drained, they will sink their teeth into our flesh.
'After that, they will throw out our bones like we are nothing.'
The group later marched from the LMRA to nearby BCCI, which also includes the offices of Tamkeen - the body tasked with using the foreign workers' tax to train Bahrainis and provide them with job opportunities.
Once there, the group chanted slogans against the BCCI and called for the resignation of its chairman.
An LMRA spokesman said the body was only implementing the law, adding there was nothing new in the businessmen's demands. BCCI officials declined to comment.-TradeArabia News Service