By Elizabeth Broomhall
Gulf state votes to postpone introduction of expat charge on private firms
Bahrain will not charge
companies to employ foreign workers until 2014, as part of its plan to help
revive the country’s economy, Trade Arabia has reported.
MPs in the island state
voted in favour of extending a freeze on fees for expatriates for another two
years, in a bid to assist private firms in their recovery from the recession
and political unrest.
The government first
announced plans to suspend levies on companies in April last year, at the
height of the Arab uprisings in the country.
Private companies are meant
to pay a fee of BD10 (US$26.52) to the government every month for each non-Bahraini they employ.
Initially the plan was to
freeze charges for a period of six months, but this was extended to a
year to help the country overcome its economic challenges.
A report by the parliament,
Shura Council and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated that
Bahrain's economy had lost $800m since the outbreak of the social unrest in
February last year.