Assembly panel ‘approves’ Kuwait-Iraq KAC deal decree Special authority eyed to fight drugs

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 21: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Monday approved the decree on the Kuwaiti-Iraqi agreement concerning compensation to be paid by Iraq to the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

This came during a meeting with Minister of Communications and Housing Affairs, Salem Al-Othaina and Chairman of the KAC Sami Al-Nisf. The agreement has been reached between the governments of Kuwait and Iraq to pay KAC $500 million.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Rapporteur of committee Taher Al-Failakawi explained after a careful study the committee decided to approve the decree and referred it to the Parliament for approval.

He indicated the Iraqi government “has shown goodwill and has deposited the money in one batch into the bank account of Kuwaiti government fulfilling all conditions in the agreement.

He added the committee listened to observations made by the Minister and all those who attended the meeting on the decree law signed in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, MP Khalil Al-Saleh has presented a draft bill to establish a Special Authority for Combating Doping in compliance with international agreements which obligate Kuwait to implement the program.
He explained the country deals with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs through the Olympic Council and that the country participates in international tournaments and therefore the athletes need to be tested by the proposed authority before they engage in any sports activities.

He explained the idea of this bill is to ensure compliance with international criteria which ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
He added the work of the doping authority will include testing athletes and providing ‘clear’ certificate to those who have undertaken the test. He added, “The authority will be an addition to the sports body in the country.”
He explained punishments should be imposed on any one who takes the doping substance starting with banning the athlete temporally from future events,” and this applies to many players.
He noted some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have a doping authority “and we hope this bill will be approved during the current session,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee held a meeting Sunday with the Kuwaiti Banks Union to discuss the bills which call on the banks to reschedule consumer and financial loans of citizens.

The Rapporteur of the committee Safa Al-Hashim stated the union has not offered any new thing to the committee rather than some figures and some court cases that it won in this regard. She added, the committee also explained the figures and the information are at its disposal in addition to the minutes of the previous meetings.

She added the benefit of the previous meetings lies in resolving the accrued interest issue, “especially the set period that is between 2002 and 2008 which was not an open period.”

 She explained not all the customers (borrowers) are unable to settle their dues and not all of them who have stopped settling their loans are unable to pay. There are some of them who are unable to pay or have stopped paying either because they or the banks have resorted to courts.

She asserted the banks should bear part of the responsibility and therefore this problem must be resolved. She added the technical opinion of the committee is clear and it will submit its report in this regard to the Parliament for discussion and voting on it.

Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the Public Facilities Committee of the National Assembly, Adnan Al-Mutawa stated the committee has approved eleven (11) priorities for the next period.

He indicated these priorities have been referred to the Parliament Office to include them in the priorities of both the government and the Parliament.

He explained the priorities include the decree of necessity on amending some provisions of the Law No. 48/1993 on housing care and Law No 27/1995 on contribution of the private sector in the construction sector on the state-owned lands for housing care, reports on the draft bill for the establishment of the public transportation authority, report on draft bill for the establishment of food control public authority, report bill on draft bill on establishment of public environment authority and report on draft bill on establishment of public authority for communications.

He said the priorities also include looking into the reports that are on the agenda and present them for discussion such as investigation in the issue of compensation decided upon by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) and investigation in the case of the environmental pollution in Sabah Al-Salem and the condition of factories in the southern area and investigation on the issue of gas leakage in the Ahmadi residential area.

He added the committee’s priorities also include the extent to which the government is committed to implementing the decree on civil defense.

He added among the priorities is the decree to amend the Law No 39/2010 on the establishment of the Kuwaiti stock companies in charge of building electric power and water desalination plants in Kuwait, in addition to the draft bill on the establishment of public authority for civil aviation and a bill present by MP Nabil Al-Fadhel on housing affairs.

He pointed out the committee will meet next Sunday with the Minister of Mini Communications Salem Al-Othaina to discuss the proposals and bills related to the ministry.
Meanwhile, Rapporteur of Public Funds Protection Committee, MP Saud Al-Hareeji said he held a meeting and decided to invite State Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Municipalities Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Mubarak and Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali to a meeting scheduled for next Monday to discuss the report related to investments in the government sectors.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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