Bahrain MPs seek end to powerful labour authority

May 17, 2011

Bahrain’s lawmakers on Tuesday called for dissolving the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), a government agency set up to reform the labour market.

The surprise call on the last session by the lower chamber before the summer recess was issued after the MPs discussed the recommendations of a parliamentarian investigation committee that probed alleged irregularities in the entity.

All 18 recommendations were endorsed by the MPs in a rare show of unanimity on the outcome of an investigation.

The investigation panel said that all the people implicated in the irregularities, including its former president and officials, should be prosecuted.

A bonus given to former labour minister Majeed Al Alawi should also be restituted, the investigation recommended, arguing that under the constitution, he was not eligible to take it.

Following the LMRA dissolution, its various departments should be transferred to the labour ministry, the MPs said.

The LMRA has the same authorities and powers as any government ministry in Bahrain. Its tasks include processing all work applications and collecting all fees related to permits and licenses, issuing visas, resident permits and ID cards to enter the kingdom, carrying out medical tests and other investigations for employers and expatriate workers and designing policies to be enforced and put in place in order to restructure the market.

According to media reports, the LMRA collected BD243,852,218 ($646.8 million) in fees since its inception in 2008 until March 2011.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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