MANAMA: Massive new subsidies will make life much easier for every Bahraini citizen. Government-subsidies have soared by 67 per cent to top BD1.5 billion this year, up from BD901 million in 2007, the Cabinet heard yesterday.
They cover food products, education, electricity, water, oil and gas sales and other items.
The updated figures came in the spotlight as His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.
The Premier directed officials to improve citizens' standard of living, diversify sources of revenues and promote development.
He instructed them to draw up policies that ensure subsidies benefit targeted social categories.
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa submitted a memo updating the session on the skyrocketing subsidies.
Thus, government-subsidies earmarked for oil byproducts soared to BD241m this year, up from BD149m in 2007.
The government approved BD81m to subsidise Mumtaz fuel and maintain its price at an affordable level.
It has also agreed to pump BD56m and BD75m respectively to subsidise Jayyid fuel and diesel.
Electricity and water subsidies have also soared by 108pc over the same period (2007-2013) to ensure affordable prices for citizens.
Bahrain yesterday urged the international community to stand united in combating terror.
The stance followed the terror attack in Algeria, deploring the loss of lives and hostage taking. The Cabinet voiced full support for Algeria, backing all the measures it has undertaken to protect its national interests, end the crisis and combat extremism.