Manama: A decision by Bahrain's government to extend a freeze on fees levied by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) on foreigners was on Monday welcomed by the business community.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has been lobbying for a freeze on the fees, arguing that it was needed to reduce the impact of the economic crisis on the private sector.

The cabinet said in April that it would freeze the levy to help the business community as Bahrain was emerging from two-month unrest which crippled economic activities, and on Sunday said that it would extend it until April, 2012.

The BCCI in a statement said that it also commended the directives of the Prime Minister to the authorities to review the labour fees levied on foreign workers and submit recommendations.

The aim is to assess their impact on the different economic sectors in Bahrain.

"The decision to extend the freeze on the labour fees levied by LMRA will substantially contribute to reducing the effects of the recent incidents in Bahrain on the economy," Essam Abdullah Fakhro, BCCI Chairman, said, quoted by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

He said that the decision to boost partnership with the private sector in the housing field "will play a key role in invigorating Bahrain's economy."