Bahrain axes training levy on private businesses

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 21 Oct 2015

4 per cent tax abolished as Tamkeen takes on responsibility for training

The annual 4 per cent training levy imposed on private businesses operating in Bahrain has been abolished, as responsibility for training transfers to Tamkeen, the governmental organisation charged with the country’s economic and workforce development.
The High Council for Vocational Training was this week abolished under a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Its responsibilities, which included collecting the levy on overseas workers’ salaries from all businesses with 50 or more employees, immediately transferred to Tamkeen, which cancelled the tax.
“Stemming from its commitment to provide support to Bahraini enterprises and individuals, Tamkeen pledges to work closely with the Ministry of Labour and concerned organisations and entities in devising an integrated action plan to ensure smooth implementation and transfer of duties,” said a Tamkeen statement. “Over the coming period, Tamkeen will also work with the private sector to identify its training needs and provide the relevant training solutions for those needs.”
The move was part of a rationalisation of government departments aimed at cutting costs and increasing efficiency. Tamkeen will now become the primary destination for private sector training in Bahrain. It already offers an extensive entrepreneurship support programme, which it claims aided more than 1,000 businesses over the past year. The agency this week unveiled a survey which reported that more than 70 per cent of users were satisfied with its enterprise support efforts.
“The merging of government institutions is seen as a very wise step to consolidate efforts and enhance efficiency,” Othman Alrayes, first vice-chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told DT News. “The merging is expected to enhance the vigour of the national economy and streamline the operations of the private sector.”