Bahrain appoints new finance minister following elections

Bahrain announced a fiscal overhaul in October aimed at balancing its budget by 2022, backed by a $10bn package from Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait
Bahrain appoints new finance minister following elections
A general view shows the Bahraini capital Manama on February 10 2016Five years after the popular uprising was harshly repressed the Kingdom of Bahrain is locked in a political stalemate coupled with an economic crisis that underline the urgency of a compromise between the rulers and the opposition according to experts AFP MOHAMMED ALSHAIKH TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TAIEB MAHJOUB Photo credit should read AFPGetty Images
By Neil Halligan
Wed 05 Dec 2018 09:48 AM

Bahrain appointed a new finance minister on Tuesday, with Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa replacing Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa in the only change to the cabinet following parliament elections.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa reappointed the outgoing prime minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who then formed a cabinet with just the one change to the key portfolios.

In the elections for 31 parliamentary seats and 23 municipal seats, Bahrainis returned a record number of six female MPs, along with a number of independents.

In October, Bahrain secured a $10bn package from neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait to support the kingdom’s “funding requirements".

In addition, Bahrain announced a fiscal overhaul aimed at balancing its budget by 2022. The plan aims to save 800 million Bahraini dinars ($2.1 billion) annually, the government said, as the kingdom looks to curb its debt after years of lower oil prices.

The reform programme includes cutting public expenditure and government waste, voluntary retirements for government workers and "redirecting" state subsidies.

The authorities said they are also looking to increase "non-oil revenues, to drive economic growth, diversify government income streams and align non-oil revenue with positive economic growth".

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