Bahrain MPs to study Gulf Air spending plan
Manama, May 1, 2012
A one-year spending plan designed to kick-start a turnaround at Gulf Air was presented to Bahrain’s parliament yesterday (April 30).
The government drafted the first year of its rescue plan for the airline as part of a bid to convince MPs to support a BD664.3 million ($1.76 billion) bailout for the national carrier.
It hopes that will convince parliament to approve the funding, after MPs initially threatened to vote against it.
Parliament's financial and economic committee chairman Ali Al Durazi told our sister publication the Gulf Daily News he would schedule a meeting on Thursday to discuss the government report.
MPs threatened last week to veto the rescue package unless their demands for annual payouts for Bahraini families are approved.
They want families to be paid BD100 on each of the two Eids, as well as BD100 at the start of every school year - putting an additional burden of BD43.5 million on the annual budget.
"The report has been received late despite promises it would be given to us days ago," said Al Durazi.
"We wanted to discuss it at our committee meeting yesterday, but it was received at around 5pm and by then we were long gone.
"I am scheduling a meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the report and I can't guarantee that MPs will change their minds on the issue - we are just giving the government a chance.
"We will thoroughly study the government's report and accordingly take a new vote on whether to recommend the bailout - or stick with our original decision to oppose the rescue package." – TradeArabia News Service