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Economic panel set to discuss B.O.T law, related regulations Huwaila eyes support for food security, livestock

KUWAIT CITY, March 21: Parliament’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee will hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the B.O.T. (Build, Operate & Transfer) law and related regulations as well as amendments to some stipulations of decree law 105/1980. According to informed sources, the Minister of Finance Anas Al- Saleh is expected to attend the meeting; however, he may not do so because of the Arab Summit and he will be represented by some officials from his ministry. They said the B.O.T. law was laid down earlier but the amendments made to it by the lawmakers delayed the passing of the law. They indicated that the committee may not discuss the law completely on Sunday and could delay its approval to the next meeting on March 30. Meanwhile, MP Mohammad Al- Huwaila has submitted a draft bill on providing support for food security, livestock and fodder, explaining that supporting the livestock is of great importance in Kuwait for implementing the food security project. He revealed that the cattle-breeders suffer from huge losses due to the increasing prices of fodder, which forms an obstacle in their contribution to food security in Kuwait. He indicated that the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) offers them support intermittently, stressing that the State should fulfill its obligations because the continuation of the status quo will result in problems for the cattle-breeders in the country. MP Al-Huwaila said Kuwait is now relying completely on import, stressing the need to subsidize fodder for easing the suffering of more than 150,000 cattle-breeders in Kuwait.

He indicated that the centers for selling fodders in the country are usually packed with customers because of the limited number of such centers, emphasizing the plight of cattlebreeders in loading and transporting fodder for sheep and camels that are bred in the border areas. In the bill, Al-Huwaila suggested that the State should increase subsidizing the fodder by 50 percent and increase the amount of fodder given to farmers by 100 percent. He stressed the need for providing full support to owners of cattle and camels, insisting that their role in the development of livestock field should be encouraged and PAAAFR must facilitate all procedures related to them as well as find and allocate places for the cattle to graze.

The bill urged for allowing new companies to import fodders, which will serve in the best interests of the primary beneficiaries, who will be Kuwaiti citizens. He indicated that other companies must be encouraged to import fodder so that they compete with Kuwait Mills Company, which is a government company that has monopolized the import of fodder since many years. The bill also demanded establishing centers for selling fodder in various places within Ahmadi and Jahra Governorates as well as near Wafra road and the farming areas in Kabad. In another development, MP Askar Al-Enezi has submitted a proposal in which he urged assigning the Government Restructuring and National Manpower Program to prepare a survey on the job opportunities in all government sectors. He explained that the study must include the number of available job vacancies and required qualifications for each contract in each government institution. “On the basis of this study, the State must plan the nationalization of these jobs gradually over three years while the government agencies and new contracting companies must comply with the plan”, said MP Al-Enezi. He also submitted another proposal through which he called for the allocation of places overseas to establish Kuwait cultural offices where Kuwaiti citizens have to be employed particularly in the Students Affairs departments.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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