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Panel nod on BOT Law amendment Minister queried on drug smuggling

KUWAIT CITY, April 13: MP Mubarak Al-Khreinej has forwarded questions to Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh on the alleged smuggling of a large quantity of drugs through Shuwaikh Port.

Al-Khreinej said there are many drug-related cases in the country and the spread of drugs is harmful to Kuwaiti youths. He revealed officials from the Drug Control General Department (DCGD) recently intercepted the smuggling of about three million Captagon pills through Shuwaikh Port.

The lawmaker wants to know why the department has failed to detect such a large quantity of drugs upon entering the country. He asked whether there are flaws in the performance of the department; especially in terms of drug smuggling and if yes, he requested for details like the names of persons behind the flaws.

He inquired if the Containers Division at the port is facing shortage of equipment and tools for inspection as stated in a report published by a local newspaper. If yes, he demanded for information on the causes of the shortage. He also asked about the measures taken by the General Customs Department in developing the inspection methods in accordance with the modern international system. What steps have been taken by the department in providing the official border posts with modern devices to detect contrabands and to protect the society from drugs? Is there a mechanism for rewarding customs officers who discover and confiscate drugs and other contrabands? If yes, please provide details on the form of distribution, and if no, why did the State not adopt such a system which is currently implemented in many other countries. On another issue, Al-Khurainej submitted questions to Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmed Al-Mulaifi on the allegations that a teacher raped a student and the distribution of liquor inside a school in Hawally.

This came after the publication of reports about these incidents in Alam Al- Yawm and Al-Shahid newspapers Al-Khurainej demanded for clarification on the reports. If these are true, what legal action has been taken against the administration of the school, those involved in the distribution of liquor and the teacher accused of raping a student? He requested for copies of investigations on both incidents and the identities of those involved. In the meantime, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee in the Parliament on Sunday approved a draft bill on the amendment of BOT Law number 7/2008.

Committee member Faisal Al- Kandari regards the amendment bill as a dream come true since the current law is full of flaws. He said these flaws have negatively affected Kuwait’s stock market and led to the transfer of more than KD 25 billion worth of investments from this country to Dubai, not to mention the loss of many employment opportunities.

He revealed the major amendments include establishment of the Public Authority for Projects and some projects may be taxexempt. On another issue, the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee has postponed for two weeks the finalization of a bill to amend the Financial Markets Authority Law number 7/2010. Rapporteur of the committee MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari explained the government has asked for a grace period to present its opinion on the proposal. He added the committee postponed deliberations on a bill to amend the Administrative Court Law until the Civil Service Commission and Ministry of Justice present their views; while it rejected request of the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of MP Sadoun Hammad Al- Otaibi. Also, the lawmaker confirmed that the Parliament has approved the proposal to grant allowances and bonuses to teachers in the ministries of Education and Awqaf, as well as the proposed establishment of the Public Authority for Cooperatives.

Furthermore, Chairman of the Housing Affairs Committee Faisal Al-Kandari said they discussed Sunday a number of issues related to the housing crisis with State Minister for Housing Affairs Yaser Aboul. He unveiled a plan to distribute 12,800 housing units this year, stressing that work is underway to prepare a legislation to increase the number of housing units in the coming years. On another note, Rapporteur of Public Utilities Committee Mohammed Al-Hadya disclosed they discussed Sunday the Public Transportation Authority Bill but the panel asked the government to postpone deliberations, so it can present its opinion in a meeting with the communications minister next week.


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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