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Panel ‘no’ to 5-year expat residency cap ‘Unconstitutional’

KUWAIT CITY, May 11: The parliamentary Legal and Legislative Committee on Sunday rejected a draft bill presented by MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi to limit the residency of expatriates to five years because it is unconstitutional and impractical, says Committee Chairman MP Mubarak Al-Haris.

In January this year, Al- Tamimi submitted a draft bill on controlling the number of expatriates in a bid to solve the problems of the nation.

According to the bill, expatriates with low educational degrees will be granted visa valid for five years and it is not renewable.

The bill stipulates that the rule is linked with the number of people in every expatriate community, which must not exceed 10 percent of the Kuwaiti population.

The GCC nationals, Europeans and Americans are exempted from this rule.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Al-Haris added the committee also rejected the request of the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of MPs Hamdan Al-Azmi, Sadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi, Faisal Al-Duwaisan, Safa Al- Hashim and Nabil Al-Fadel; citing conspiracy to disrupt the work of MPs.

He also confirmed the committee’s approval of the proposed amendments to some provisions of law number 6/2008 on the privatization of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and referred it to the concerned panel.

The committee also approved proposals on the job security of Kuwaitis working in private and oil sectors, banning business transactions during Friday prayers, and issuance of a license for the establishment of a Kuwaiti stock company to be named ‘National Livestock Trading Company’ to ensure food security and break monopoly in order to serve the interests of citizens.

Meanwhile, the committee postponed discussions on five amendment bills to some provisions of law number 35/1962 on parliamentary elections. On the other hand, the Finance and Economic Committee postponed final deliberations on the proposed amendment of the Public Tenders Law until an agreement is reached on the draft bill.

The panel also agreed to begin discussions on the amendment of the Capital Markets Authority Law next Sunday. Rapporteur of the Committee MP Mohammed Al-Jabri disclosed a team, consisting of panel members and experts, has been formed to draft amendments to the Public Tenders Law. He said the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) will be affiliated to the Cabinet as per the recommendation of the team like the case of the State Audit Bureau which is attached to the Parliament; considering these two bodies are supervisory institutions. He added the committee sees the need for CTC to have a separate budget. Furthermore, the Public Utilities Committee has given the Public Authority for Agriculture and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) up to June 2014 to present its opinion on the veterinary and animal welfare laws.

MP Adel Al-Kharafi affirmed his committee discussed the GCC agreement on these laws. He said the authority has been instructed to present a timetable and its opinion on the draft bills in June. He added the committee has forwarded a letter to the state minister for Cabinet Affairs to know which body is responsible for the Disaster Management Law. In another development, MP Mohammed Tana Al-Anazi has recommended the formation of a committee to expedite the implementation of mega projects. The proposal states the committee’s functions include identifying various ministries linked with the mega projects in order to instruct them to speed up the implementation process. Also, MP Yakoub Al-Sanei presented a draft bill on the establishment of Sabah Al-Ahmed Advanced City.

The bill mandates the Kuwait Municipality to allocate land for the Public Authority for Housing Welfare to establish an integrated residential city with all facilities and infrastructure to accommodate not less than 30,000 housing units; including business, service, craftsmanship, industrial and investment areas. Moreover, some constitutional experts met Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim Sunday to discuss the items on the agenda for Tuesday’s session and ensure the right steps are taken in this regard. In addition, the Speaker presided over the meeting of the Parliament Office on the same day. Secretary General of the office MP Yagoub Al-Sane revealed that the meeting focused on invitations from the parliaments in neighboring countries. He affirmed the meeting agreed to specify dates for these visits later. On another issue, MP Mohammed Al-Jabri requested Minister of Commerce and Industry D.

Abdulmohsen Al- Madaj to lay down a decree on increasing the types of subsidized building materials like aluminum and ceramics. He believes this will help citizens meet their house construction needs to complement the new law on granting KD 30,000 construction material subsidy to citizens.

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

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