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Al-Sane wants probe into deal between KAC, Indian company

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: National Assembly Secretary MP Yakoub Al-Sane has called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate into the alleged deal between Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and an Indian company on the purchase of five used aircraft. Al-Sanei admitted he was surprised by the statements of the KAC officials, particularly Board Chairman Sami Al-Nisf who has been quoted as saying that the deal will add value to the corporation despite Minister of Communications Essa Al-Kandari’s confirmation it is full of violations. “It is embarrassing that Kuwait cannot upgrade its fleet while other GCC countries have their own aircraft. This require the formation of an investigative committee to look into the deal, considering the government has been hearing about the differences between the two parties, yet it has remained silent without taking any action,” he added. He pointed out this raises doubt on the evaluation of KAC’s assets and there must be an investigation on the $500 million compensation that KAC collected from Iraqi Airways.

n another development, Parliament Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem disclosed he did not receive any request to increase the number of legislators from 50 to 70. This is in reaction to rumors that several MPs have presented a proposal to amend Article 80 of the Constitution to increase the number of MPs from 50 to 70. Al-Ghanem explained if his office receives the bill, it will be referred to the concerned committee for further study.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee has endorsed a proposal to establish stock companies for sports clubs but it rejected draft bills on the establishment of real estate companies and a stock company to be named, ‘Kuwaiti Development Bank’. On the other hand, Chairman of Educational Affairs Committee MP Hamoud Al-Hamada said they discussed Sunday three draft bills on amending the Audio-Visual Law but the government apologized and withdrew the amendment. He confirmed the committee has submitted its report on laws pertaining to the protection of youths, establishment of Audio-Visual Public Authority and regulation of news reporting. He added the committee will invite many authorities and institutions involved in the educational process, such as the Kuwait Teachers Association and unions to discuss various issues related to the educational sector. Furthermore, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee discussed the Public Tenders Bill and completed nine articles. Committee Chairman MP Faisal Al-Shaye revealed many amendments have been presented. He said representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Central Tenders Committee and Audit Bureau listened to the views of the government on resolving discrepancies in the nine articles. He added an agreement has been reached on the formation of a working team to sort out the observations and amendments to pave the way for summarizing articles of the bill. He asserted the controversial points were on minor issues like name, complaints and independence of the body.

Moreover, the Handicapped Affairs Committee met representatives of the Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs on Sunday. Committee Chairman MP Madi Al-Hajiri said the officials of the authority have agreed to present their demands to the committee to improve work procedures in their respective sectors.

He also unveiled a plan to lay down a mechanism for the committee to address the problems of people with disabilities. Also, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi submitted a number of queries to Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Zikhra Al-Rashidi on the alleged delay in the implementation of numerous major projects, as well as the complaints on the lack of professional and technical manpower. He wants to know number of companies referred to the Public Prosecution for their involvement in visa trading, the results of investigations, and the actions taken in this regard. Al-Awadhi inquired about the decisions and actions taken by the minister to speed up the process of issuing work permits, combat corruption and visa trading since the beginning of his tenure. In the meantime, MP Mohamed Al- Enizi submitted queries to the Minister of Interior on the deportation of expatriates who committed grave traffic violations and some Bedoun issues. He wants to know the legislative reference for deporting these foreigners, their names and reasons for deportation within the year. On Bedoun issues, Al-Enizi demanded for a detailed report on the number of Bedouns who obtained Syrian, Dominican, Somali and Yemeni passports. He wants to know the number of Bedouns holding fraudulent passports and have yet to be put back to their previous status. On another issue, MP Askar Al-Enizi submitted a number of proposals to address the unemployment problem.

He proposed conducting a comprehensive survey on unemployed citizens who are looking for jobs and foreigners employed in public and private sectors. He suggested increasing the number of Kuwaiti employees in private companies based on the results of the survey. He stressed the need for the government to review the labor law applicable to Kuwaiti manpower and amend it to guarantee healthy competition in the private sector, in addition to limiting the number of foreign laborers in private companies. He also proposed conducting a study to know why some students drop out of school, improve the skills of Kuwaiti manpower, and encourage high school graduates to pursue higher studies, while gaining experience either by volunteering or taking part-time jobs. He urged the Public Institution for Social Security to draft an insurance scheme against unemployment to protect workers in the private sector and to work towards insuring all Kuwaiti employees in the sector. In another development, Deputy Speaker of the national Assembly MP Mubarak Al-Khurenij stressed the need to reopen Al-Omaria Clinic immediately, considering it was closed twice for renovation works. He argued it has been awhile since the closure of the clinic and the residents in Omaria have grown impatient. He pointed out some residents had to seek treatment in clinics in other areas; thereby, increasing their suffering.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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