Finance & Capital Market

Bahrain to suspend future fund deductions this year

Bahrain's Cabinet today approved a memorandum submitted by the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Fiscal Balance recommending temporarily suspending the deductions of oil revenues allocated to the Future Generations Reserve Fund until the end of the fiscal year 2020.
The approval, given by the Cabinet meeting held remotely and chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, paves the way for the issuance of a decree-law regarding the Future Generations Reserve Fund, said a Bahrain News Agency report.
The memorandum also recommended the withdrawal of $450 million for one time only from the Fund, and to approve the issuance of a decree-law disposing part of the fund. 
The measures are intended to support the state’s general budget during the remainder of the fiscal year 2020.
The Cabinet extended its congratulations to the Prime Minister, HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, on the success of his medical tests and wished him further health and wellness as he continues to steadfastly advance national development efforts under the leadership of HM the King.
The Cabinet praised HRH the Crown Prince’s role leading national efforts aimed at combatting the Coronavirus (Covid-19), and the Kingdom’s continued success in mitigating the spread of the virus whilst preserving the wellbeing of citizens and residents. 
Following the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary-General, Dr Yasser bin Issa Al-Nasser, said the Cabinet had reviewed and approved a memorandum submitted by the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Fiscal Balance regarding the sustainability of the kingdom’s pension funds.
The submitted memorandum consists of recommendations made by the Board of Directors of the Social Insurance Organization (SIO) regarding 10 reforms, including 4 immediate reforms.
The approved memorandum also contains a recommendation to issue a decree-law urgently reforming pension funds and regulations, by merging the civil and private sector pension funds. The recommendation further links the annual increase of the pension to the existence of a surplus in the funds, preventing the inclusion of pension and salary, and preventing the amalgamation of  pensions from any of the private and public pension funds that would extend the life of the pension funds and continue to fulfil their obligations towards 95,000 citizens.
The Cabinet approved a draft law on regulations that define the final beneficiary in accordance with best practices and standards related to improving international tax compliance and combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The decision applies to all registered persons subject to the Commercial Registry Law.