Tenants with building contracts on state-owned property will be exempted from payment of rents or fees for operating units, public markets and other businesses under a decision supported by the Ministry of Finance, reports Al Qabas daily. This comes as a way to grant relief to owners after all activities were suspended as a precautionary measure to handle the coronavirus spread.
The daily, citing informed sources, revealed the waiver decision will be announced in the next few days, and will take into account the rental value calculated from April 1 till the end of the coronavirus pandemic, provided the exemption period is not less than six months.
The daily said that currently authorities are working on setting up the procedure for giving rent waivers, since paying rent for state property is done annually. Also under consideration are special measures to ensure that other parties in contract with tenants of state property can take advantage of the rent waiver.
However, the daily stated that the chalet and farm contracts will be exempted from the decision as they are not among those in the affected commercial sector. The beneficiaries of state property rent exemptions are those involved in the following activities: Markets such as Al-Mubarakiya, Al-Munakh, Al-Kuwait, Al-Dawliah, Al-Mutahidah, and other markets managed by others, provided that the rent is reduced by the same proportion.
Exemption will also cover all owners of rented units in various cultural centers, including the Jaber Cultural Center, Al-Shaheed Gardens, and all sites under the Amiri Diwan from paying rents, according to the concluded contracts.
The daily stated, quoting sources that the rent waiver decisions for state property is part of the economic stimulus process to make a significant impact on the commercial sector, such as retail stores, restaurants and corporate offices which were affected by the shutdown. The majority of all contracts exempted are linked to markets and commercial complexes.
In a related development, the Public Authority for Industry is also considering allowing rent exemptions for factory owners in the industrial sector, only those who were affected by the work suspension during the complete or partial curfew period, but there were others such as the factories for foodstuffs which continued to operate, reports Al Qabas daily.
Those factories forced to stop during the curfew period incurred major losses, and to ensure owners can handle the fallout, the Public Authority for Industry will announce the exemption mechanism in the coming weeks. Cabinet gave a recommendation to the Public Authority for Industry to reduce rents on its lands in some areas, such as Shuwaikh, Al-Rai, Sabhan, Mina Abdullah, Ahmadi, Fahaheel, and Sharq, in addition calling for reduced rents for their tenants.
The daily reports that owners of businesses and buildings on state property should support the rent exemption for tenants to reach the largest number of beneficiaries and to reduce the impact caused by the suspension of businesses due to the precautionary measures taken by government in the fight against the coronavirus.