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Bahrain: Shura Council rejects property registration fee exemption move

- December 4, 2019
Bahrain: Shura Council rejects property registration fee exemption move

A proposal that would have seen citizens exempt from paying a one-time registration fee on their property was rejected by the Shura Council amid a heated discussion about justice and fairness.

Under the proposed amendments to the 2013 Real Estate Registration Law, approved by parliament, citizens registering their property for the first time at the Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB) would be exempt from paying two percent of the property’s worth as a registration fee.

According to a report by the Public Utilities and Environment Affairs Committee, which urged the council to reject the proposal, the financial and economic affairs committee found the exemption would negatively impact the national budget, even if limited and slight.

Shura Council member Dr. Abdulaziz Abul’s concerns about the proposal were shared by legislative and legal affairs committee vice-chairman Khamis Al Rumaihi who said approving the proposed amendments in their current state would be damaging.

Meanwhile, public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Faoud Al Haji said the committee would not take the proposal back for further study and urged the council to reject it.

He said the fee was previously 3pc and reduced to 1pc, which proved detrimental and impacted the SLRB budget, leading to the current amendment at 2pc.

Council member Ahmed Al Haddad said a large segment of society would benefit if the proposal was approved while services committee vice-chairwoman Dr. Ebtisam Al Dalal stressed the importance of expanding the categories to include those with medium income as well. The proposal will now be sent back to Parliament.

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