$647m labour fees collected by LMRA
Manama, May 8, 2011
Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has collected BD243,852,218 ($646.8 million) in fees since its inception in 2008 until March 2011.
Eighty per cent fees and all the penalties have been transferred to Tamkeen and 20 per cent fees to the state general account, Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan said in response to a query by MP Mohammed Al Amadi.
Fees have increased labour cost by 1.9 per cent, with the construction, wholesale and retail, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries sectors worst hit.
The pay gap between the national and expat workforce widened from BD145 per month in March 2006 to BD235 in the second quarter of 2010. He said companies' profit dropped in 2008- 2009 and attributed it to a slow-down in economy, with no clear link between it and labour fees.
Prices of consumers goods rose by 2.8 per cent from mid-2008 to mid-2009 due to the fees. The prices movement was brought to normal starting from August 2009, in co-ordination with the labour market reform project.
Employment was stable at 2.5 per cent in mid-2009, then dropped to 0.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2010, he said, attributing it to economic circumstances and fees.
Private sector share of employment stabilised at 66 per cent for Bahrainis and 97 per cent for expats, while Bahrainisation rate dropped from 21 per cent in the second quarter of 2008 to 19 per cent in the fourth quarter 2009, then reached 21 per cent in mid-2010, our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej reports.-TradeArabia News Service