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Nod to economic diversification plans FORMER MP LARI AMONG 10 TO SIGN FOR BY-ELECTIONS

KUWAIT CITY, May 21: The Parliament approved Wednesday the Environment Protection Bill in its second reading with 32 members voting in favor and only one abstention. According to the report of the Public Utilities Committee, the bill is aimed at protecting the environment and natural resources; in addition to maintaining natural balance in the territory, preventing pollution and environmental damage.

It will also avert short and long-term environmental damage caused by economic, agricultural, industrial, tourism and construction development works and other activities or programs for improving the living standard. Other objectives of the bill include enhancement of natural resources, ensure sustainable development, preserve diversity in the entire territory; as well as protect the society and health of human beings and all creatures from harmful activities or actions in and outside the country.

Meanwhile, the Parliament approved the recommendations presented by two groups of MPs after deliberations on the national economy and diversification of national income sources on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The MPs stressed the importance of the recommendations, adding that the reason for this discussion is to know the government’s policy on diversifying national income sources rather than depending solely on oil. They pointed out that during the debate, the government presented a written vision on the issue; but it failed to elaborate on the ways of implementation and to make a timetable to prove it is keen on implementing the vision.

Following is the first set of recommendations presented by 21 MPs:

■ Formation of an executive body with members from concerned authorities to implement the governmental vision.

■ Maximize economic, social, food and entertainment revenues from the Fish Resources Sector.

■ Develop good productivity and marketing system for agricultural products to increase economic, environmental and social revenues.

■ Encourage small producers to benefit from credit facilities and continue supporting soft loans for agricultural products; as well as support research and guidance programs and encourage the private sector to invest in production, manufacturing and marketing projects.

■ Develop human resources through the establishment of youth training centers.

■ Prioritize direct foreign investment projects which produce goods for export.

■ Investment policies should take into account the requirement of foreign investors in terms of ability to realize proper revenues from their investments by having stability in the systems, laws and politics; in addition to providing an environment conducive to investment.

■ Change role of the government from a major player in economic activity to management through the provision of sophisticated institutional environment and clear legislation


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

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