Ibrahim Sharif: Bahrain Debts Exceed BD 23B, SIO to go Bankrupt in 2020

2017-02-10 - 6:11 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's prominent opposition figure and economist, Ibrahim Sharif, said that Bahrain is living in a state of real bankruptcy, and that it has debts amounting to more than 21 billion Bahraini Dinars. He clarified that the government suffers from a 1.5 billion fiscal deficit, while the Social Insurance Organization (SIO) is suffering an annual fiscal deficit worth half a billion dinar.

In an intervention during a seminar held by the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) (Thursday February 9, 2017) under the title "No Prejudice over Insurance Rights and Workers' Representation Rights", Sharif said that the SIO is suffering an annual deficit or no less than 500 million Dinars (half a billion). Data of 2015 showed that participant money were 1.5 billion dinars.

Sharif added that the only surplus the SIO has is the investment income, further expecting that in 2019 or 2020, the Insurance Organization will in reality witness a deficit, not actuarially.

"Restoring the foreigners under the umbrella of the SIO will not solve anything, since bringing them back will mean they are entitled to retirement, and without them, the federation is bankrupt, and will see 10 times that bankruptcy with their presence", he went on to say.

The Bahraini opposition figure said, "The SIO, just like the state, faces real bankruptcy, and it doesn't matter if you had money now, since the debts you owe for the current retirees, and those who will retire in the future, is 7.5 billion (Dinars) more than what you have now. Which mean, the SIO is bankrupt."

Regarding the government, Sharif said that it is also bankrupt, clarifying that it has debts that amount up to 9 billion dinars, and its debts rise annually by an average of 1.5 billion dinars, not to mention the governmental companies' debts.

He further confirmed that the SIO's debts are also governmental debts, as the government is the SIO sponsor. Therefore, he noted that the total of governmental debt would be 21.5 billion Dinars, around 55 billion dollars, which increases by 1.5 billion dinar annually in government deficit, and half a billion of SIO fiscal deficit, a total of 2 billion dinars in fiscal deficit annually.

Moreover, he indicated, "In result, we are in a state similar to that of Greece (...). The solution is holding the perpetrators of these mistakes accountable, as they were the ones who adopted the reduce in fees 1986, and they are the ones who faced a state similar to the bankruptcy of the 90s, and they are still in their positions."

"What's required is to restore state properties and allocate it to the insurance system. There is no use for the state sponsorship over the SIO, as the government is already broke. There are billions of lands that were granted, so let it be granted to the SIO. Regarding the people's money, it cannot be protected without them having representatives in the SIO and the government", Sharif said.

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