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Greek President Karolos Papoulias with Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
Bid to rectify residency flaws MP questions Al-Modej on ‘jammers’

KUWAIT CITY, June 12: MP Nabeel Al-Fadel has submitted a proposal to amend Residency Law number 17/1959 in a bid to rectify a number of flaws. The MP explained that since the issuance of this law in 1959, it has only made matters more complicated due to numerous amendments over the years. He said it has reached a point that the law has become a major obstacle to the realization of Kuwait’s vision to be an international financial hub.

He pointed out this law also contributes to the separation of families, because the children of a Kuwaiti woman married to a foreigner will be forced to leave the country when they come of age and their father is no longer around, unless they acquire a work visa as soon as possible. He clarified this is only one of many such cases and there are hundreds of others, asserting his proposal aims to address the issue.

Meanwhile, the proposed amendment to Article Nine of the law stipulates that any individual who desires to reside in Kuwait must obtain approval from the head of the General Immigration Department. In case the residency is approved, renewal could be mandatory at the Ministry of Defense, provided the applicant meets all the conditions.

Renewal of residency is mandatory if the applicant is married to a Kuwaiti and they have children - whether the couple is still married or not. Additionally, if the applicant has a Kuwaiti mother but carries the father’s nationality and viceversa, the residency is also mandatory even if the parents are no longer married and regardless of their age. The MP also confirmed the law prevents the concerned authorities from specifying additional requirements or constraints regarding this article, like the salary cap and others. He added that to prevent unequal and abusive decisions by concerned authorities, the applicant has the right to resort to the court if he believes he was oppressed or wronged in the renewal of his residency.

Addressing commercial activities hindered by this law, the proposed amendment to Article 17 states that a foreigner’s residency is not cancelled if he is outside the country for more than six months; hence, the residency is valid until the expiration date and he can return to Kuwait as long as the residency is not expired. Al-Fadel explained this amendment will help foreigners who come to Kuwait to conduct business and to continue their activities even if they return to their home country, without the fear of losing their residency.

He thinks this will contribute to the commercial development of the country. He said this proposal will also address the issue concerning foreigners married to Kuwaitis as they may lose their residency if they leave Kuwait for more than six months to study or undergo medical treatment abroad.

The proposal has been submitted to the National Assembly Office, which will then refer it to the concerned committee to prepare a report to pave the way for its discussion in the Assembly. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji has presented parliamentary questions to Minister of Commerce and Industry and acting Minister of Education and Higher Education Abdul-Muhsen Al-Modej on the decision to stop using phone jamming devices during school examinations due to the harmful effect on students’ health. He wants to know if the devices have been purchased and installed, as well as the cost and agent. He asked for the name of the company that contracted with the Ministry of Education and why it did not coordinate with its health counterpart to check the devices. In case the devices have been purchased, he inquired if the ministry can return them and refund the money. If not, what action will be taken now that it has been proven the devices are harmful to the health of students.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Budget and Final Accounts Committee Adnan Abdul-Samad disclosed they discussed Thursday the budget of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KPNC), disclosing the projected revenue in the budget for fiscal 2014/2015 is KD 10.83026 billion - an increase of KD 972,635,000 million or 9.87 percent compared to the previous budget; while the expenditure is estimated at KD 10,456,594,000 - an increase of KD 1,008,981,000 or 10.68 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. He added the company’s projected net profits, after deducting net revenues from sales of products marketed locally for the account of KNPC, reached KD 77,459,000 - 39.84 percent decline compared to the previous financial year. He revealed the committee found out the company has seven projects in the new budget, including five capital projects worth KD654 million and two pattern projects valued at KD 38 million. On the workforce of the company, there are 5,724 Kuwaitis whose total annual earnings is estimated at KD 363 million and KNPC intends to appoint 554 Kuwaiti workers within the new fiscal year. On another issue, the Education Affairs Committee on Thursday tackled the decision to suspend the accreditation of certificates obtained from certain foreign universities. Committee Chairman MP Humoud Al-Hamdan affirmed the meeting yielded positive results, particularly in the exchange of information.

However, the panel members requested for more details to clarify the issue. He added the panel recommended some academicians to become members of the Values System Committee and their curriculum vitae had been submitted to the Parliament Office for final approval of their membership. He went on to say a letter has been forwarded to the Parliament regarding the non-completion of procedures for the appointment of Bedouns in the Ministry of Education, reasons for not treating them like their expatriate counterparts and the financial aspect of the issue. On the proposal of MP Faisal Al-Dowaisan to specify the age groups of those not allowed to watch certain television programs such as children and those under 18 years old, Al- Hamdan said the committee will invite Al- Dowaisan to listen to his opinion on some points based on the wish of the Ministry of Information.

 


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

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