Government of Traders Tries to Eliminate Remaining Poor and Low-Income Classes

2021-03-23 - 4:54 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): It is said that this government in Bahrain is the "government of foreigners" because it prefers foreigners over its citizens, and passes all the legislations that would facilitate bringing in foreigners to the country to compete with its citizens over their livelihoods. However, if we consider the government's decision, we can reach a single conclusion that this government is the government of greedy "traders", and its legislations always come in favor of traders, regardless whether the affected is a citizen or an expatriate.

The recent decision taken by Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Zayed Al-Zayani, who belongs to a wealthy family that monopolizes many commercial agencies in various fields, on setting April 4 as a deadline for people who provide commercial services on social media (including online sales, food and beverage providers via social media outlets, and auctioneers via social media outlets ) to register in "Sijili", which serves traders and adds restrictions on the poor, low-income and unemployed who have resorted to social media outlets in order to earn a few dinars.

The minister's decision went beyond putting restrictions on service providers. It said "the ministry also directs all consumers to pay attention in verifying reliability of the providers of these services and ensure that they are licensed by researching the records system affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism."

Al-Zayani and those behind him want to hinder any citizen (unemployed or low-income) from increasing his monthly income, albeit in small amounts of no more than a few hundred dinars at best, because these projects now affect the greedy traders who sell the same goods imported from China in a price twice or more than that set by the citizen who has only a modest Instagram account.

We will not believe the claim of "increasing the state's revenues" anymore. If we assume that there are 10,000 citizens who are selling goods and services via social media outlets (a large and exaggerated figure), and they all decided to abide by the minister's decision and apply for a "Sijili" license, the total revenue that will be added to the state treasury will not exceed 1.8 million dinars, which is considered a small amount. However, this decision is similar to that which stopped the retirees' bonus (which saved only 18 million dinars per year), as it only intends to impoverish the citizens and increase the gap between low-income and wealthy people.

On the other hand, the decision aims at eliminating the unemployment aid of hundreds of unemployed citizens who try to help their families with their life expenses, until they find a job that suits their academic qualifications, and once they obtain this virtual record, they will be counted as employers who do not deserve the unemployment aid. 

Minister Al-Zayani's decision, like other policies, has never taken into account the poor and low-income groups. Nonetheless, it falls among the other decisions that have always been in favor of the traders, the need to protect their interests and introduce legislation that contributes to increasing their financial earnings even more.

Arabic Version