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Wed 24 Nov 2010 04:33 PM

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Bahrain looks to reduce food and fuel subsidies

The government wants to reduce the burden on the national budget and makes sure only those most in need obtain subsidies.

Bahrain looks to reduce food and fuel subsidies
CURB SUBSIDIES: Bahrain is looking to curb the number of subsidies on food, utilities and petroleum

Bahrain is looking to curb the number of subsidies on food, utilities and petroleum, in a bid to reduce the drain on the national budget, it was reported on Wednesday.

The country’s MPs have called for an independent review of the subsidies system, in a bid to reduce the burden on the country’s finances and to make sure subsidies are only given to those who really need them, according to a report by the Gulf Daily News.

Dr Abdulhussain Mirza, Bahrain’s Oil and Gas Affairs Minister and chairman of the country’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) has already said Bahrain should look at reducing the size of fuel subsidies given out by the government.

Bahrain’s Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa has also announced that a study will be carried out to make sure subsidies are only given to those most in need.

“Subsidises are taking a lot of money from the general budget, but we need a study to have a clear idea and at the same time the subsidy needs to go to the right people," MP Mohammed Al Ammadi said in the report.

"Some people are benefiting from the subsidy and they aren't eligible to have it," he added.

MP and economist Dr Jasim Al Husain has objected to the scrapping of the current subsidy system and said it was good for Bahrain’s image for investors and was an efficient way to control inflation.