24 March 2008

My Issues with this "Fighting Inflation" Thing

Inflation has hit Bahrain hard; the price of basic goods has increased dramatically, and the people on the lower end of the earning scale (ie, most Bahraini's) are feeling the pressure. Give it up to our government to get up and do something about it; BD40 million has been assigned to help combat the inflation issue (approx USD105m), and the decision to decide what to do with it has been given to our parliament.


1- The 40 million hasn't been used to help subsidize some of the basic goods that are being sold, nor work it out with the companies that provide these products. Nope, it has been given out to people in cash. You're not curing inflation here, you're watering it and helping it to grow.

2- Each family is to get BD50, every month for a year, to help them fight inflation. Any family earning a total of less than 1,500 is eligible. That means that if you're earning BD250 and have 4 kids (and feeling the pinch of inflation a little too much), you're getting the same as the childless couple earning BD1,500 (who are relatively shielded from it).

3- Ok, so let's say we agree with their decision that giving the money out is the right thing (besides the fact that 50 dinars doesn't really do much anyway). Why is it taking so long to give out? 40 million dinars might seem like a big amount to you and me, but in terms of our government, it's actually peanuts. I'm actually ashamed that this is all they've decided to throw at this issue for a whole year, just to shut the people up because they're "doing something about it". Still, why does it take so frickin long? Is it the MP's? Is it the government? Whose causing this delay?

4- I know a number of (very) eligible people who have not been assigned this aid. How is this decided? Who makes the decision? Is there anywhere people can go to apply for it? As far as I know, you're supposed to go to the E.gov website, but many people who went to check have gotten an 'uneligible' message, even though they fulfil all the required criteria.

5- The scariest thing about this issue, is that 33,000 families have been chosen to recieve this aid. That's 33,000 families, getting 50 dinars, for a total of 12 months. Now, pull out your calculators for a second;

33,000 x 50 x 12 = Almost 20 million dinars.

Budget assigned, 40 million.

Where's the rest of this money going?


Anonymous said...

The middle-men have to get paid! The corruption starts at the top and funnels downward...

Anonymous said...

The middle-men have to get paid! The corruption starts at the top and funnels downward...

Redbelt said...

Exclamation mark point:
When most papers wrote the "names" of the eligible people, Alwaqt wrote that they are finalizing the criteria and formulating the list. What is out is probably either a leak or a premature release. Hence, the 33K families make sense if it isn't a final list.
And anyway, you are a financial man: Budgets do not need to be fully utilized. They set up criteria and only selected people get chosen, what if that only uses 35 Mil? You can't use the rest because you will breach the criteria. So it goes back.

Woozie said...

It's like a little America!

moon-light7 said...

ur right!! my mother actually pointed this 20 million issue to me. & the vague criteria...I don't know what's going on!!

out of respect for all those families, someone from the gov should come out & explain this whole deal. Can't this country do something the right way for once?!! it's only BD50 for God's sake!

Merlin said...

You do not have a government. You have The Muppet Show. That is why things are the way they are.

rosh said...

Very valid points. Even though, you have detailed it quite easy to follow, am sure the process has complications.

Totally agree on #1 - this isn't going to curb, but help inflation grow. Most of the corporations, now know, government fundS shall help, hence they would want a share of this 40 million or whatever, hence try and raise prices of other commodities.

Point 2, 3 and 4 are quite logical, wouldn't you think, that powers that be, should know or think with such logic?

Ammaro for president :)

Broke Saudi said...

Let inflation take its course, the problem will find a solution on its own. I think the more we interfere with an economic problem, the more complications arise. Let it be, and we'll see what happens.

KJ said...

I was reading in this morning's paper that the inflation rate in Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are growing at an impossibly high speed (like 14%) and there was a summit yesterday regarding taking initiatives to reduce it.

It's crazy... Allah yestor. Damn oil.

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