Bahrain parliament rejects budget for 8th consecutive year

Comes amid claims by MPs of a lack of transparency and that violations have not been addressed.

The Bahrain Parliament has rejected the government’s closing budget statement for the past year amid claims by MPs that violations have not been addressed, it was reported.

In what marks the eighth consecutive year that MPs have refused to rubber stamp the government’s financial statement, they cited a lack of transparency and under-spending on government projects despite borrowing money, Gulf Daily News reported.

MPs also criticised the government for not handing over detailed spending charts.

MP Latefa Al Gaoud said the government had ignored parliament’s concerns over public sector spending and recommendations.

“Those reports are important for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and, accordingly, Bahrain's ranking is determined. But if no transparent breakdown is presented, the country can't climb the ladder,” she was quoted as saying.

She also raised doubts about government borrowing, suggesting the money was not needed.

“It is borrowing without usage that worries us, since it means the government was paying interest on money it doesn't need,” she said.

MP Ali Al Durazi reportedly accused the government of basing its accounts on an outdated system.

Meanwhile, parliament public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Hassan Al Dossary claimed some government bodies were not spending anywhere near their budgets.

Parliament second vice-chairman Shaikh Adel Al Maawada called for an evaluation of all spending by ministries and government bodies, accusing some of asking MPs to approve for more funding that they didn't need, Gulf Daily News reported.

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