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MP submits draft bill to control expat population Visa limits ... nationality quotas

 KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29: MP Abdullah Al- Tamimi submitted a draft bill on controlling the number of expatriates in a bid to solve the problems of the nation. Article Two of the bill states that expatriates with low educational degrees will be granted visa valid for five years and it is not renewable. Article Three stipulates the rule is linked with the number of people in every expatriate community, which must not exceed 10 percent of the Kuwaiti population.

According to the lawmaker, the GCC nationals, Europeans and Americans are exempted from this rule. He explained the growing expatriate population made the problems more complicated; such as the rising unemployment and crime rates, rental fee hike, traffic jams and health issues, among others. He pointed out the country’s infrastructure cannot accommodate such a large number of expatriates; thereby, causing failure to governmental institutions.

In another development, MP Nabil Al- Fadhel criticized the demonstration of employees in the oil sector, especially the officials who support what he considers ridiculous demands. He wondered why these people want more money, considering they are paid three times more than what other government employees are receiving.

Commenting on the issue, MP Adnan AbdulSamad warned Minister of Oil Ali Al-Omair against succumbing to pressure from demonstrators asking for increment. He argued there is a huge difference between the salaries of the oil sector employees and their counterparts in other ministries. The MP said that in the budget for fiscal 2013/2014, the monthly salary for 336,216 employees in governmental departments and institutions totaled KD 5.193 million — an average of KD 1,287 per employee. He clarified these figures do not include the salary of oil sector employees. AbdulSamad disclosed the total cost of salary for oil sector workers alone is KD 1.3 billion a month, paid to 19,783 employees with an average of KD 5,476 per employee. He added the State Audit Bureau has reported numerous violations and comments on the final account of the oil sector, which will be discussed in a meeting with the minister soon. On the other hand, AbdulSamad wondered why the government is afraid every time a lawmaker submits an interpellation request.

He pointed out that interpellation is the parliamentary tool and constitutional right of every MP. Furthermore, MPs Askar Al-Enizi and Kamel Al-Awadhi praised the efforts exerted by the Drug Control General Department (DCGD), represented by its head — General Ghannam Al-Enizi — and his team, in foiling the attempt of an expatriate truck driver to smuggle a large quantity of narcotics into the country. The contraband, which was hidden in the truck, was intercepted along the Kuwait- Iraq border. Al-Awadhi disclosed the truck was loaded with 370 kilograms of narcotics, which is estimated to be worth over one million Kuwaiti dinars. He added this is similar to another operation a couple of months ago, during which the DCGD confiscated 600 kilograms of drugs. He said such a huge quantity of narcotics would have destroyed numerous lives and families if it weren’t for the efforts of the DCGD. He asserted the anti-narcotics officers put their lives in danger in order to protect the society. With this in mind, he has started drafting a bill on granting bonuses to these officers in recognition of their dedicated service to the nation

By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab-Times Staff

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