Rasheed Al Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) predicted that Bahrain would achieve economic growth of between 2 and 2.5 percent in 2019, in line with last year's pace.
"The program of assistance provided by the Gulf allies does not mean that Bahrain will not need to be leveraged this year," Al-Maraj told the reporters on the sidelines of a financial conference hosted by Manama. He added "funding by the debt will be lower, while the funding plans for the current year will be decided upon budget".
Bahrain's cabinet approved the draft budget for the current and next year, which expects a further reduction in the budget deficit to $1.63 billion by 2020 as part of the financial reform program. The government has reduced subsidies and raised the taxes and fees as part of these fiscal reforms and started implementing VAT last month.
The Cabinet also agreed to increase the fees imposed on foreign labor licenses under a program to settle employment to 500 dinars from 200 dinars. The Council also proposed increasing the unemployment benefit for the Bahrainis.
Source: (Al Khaleej newspaper, Edited)