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Assembly schedules session – Bill penalizes countries who won’t repatriate its citizens

KUWAIT CITY, May 5: The National Assembly intends to hold a session next week – most probably on Tuesday – to discuss developments related to the coronavirus crisis and several bills, says Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.

Al-Ghanim disclosed the Assembly will allocate two hours of the session for deliberations on developments regarding the coronavirus crisis; specifically the medical, economic and security aspects. He said the government will conduct a presentation on these developments, and then the MPs will submit their suggestions and comments.

He revealed the Assembly will discuss bills that the relevant parliamentary committees have finalized, indicating the priority will be given to bills on coronavirus and those supported by both the legislative and executive authorities. He added the Assembly will also talk about the financial situation of the State, clarifying the Assembly must tackle this issue at least once a year as per the Constitution.

In another development, Al-Ghanim praised the decisive and professional way that the Ministry of Interior dealt with the recent riot at the shelter in Kabad allocated for expatriates who violated the Residency Law.

He attributed the negative scenarios that the country has been witnessing over the years to the concerned authorities’ lackadaisical attitude towards visa traders. He called on Minister of Interior and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh to keep on following up this issue, affirming the Assembly will do the same until the problem is solved.

Commenting on the same issue, MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari submitted a bill on dealing with countries which refuse to receive their citizens, in view of the recent riot at the shelter allocated for expatriates awaiting repatriation.

Article One of the bill states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should suspend all agreements signed with countries that refrain from receiving their citizens or ignore calls of the ministry in this regard.

Article Two states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should suspend loans and grants provided by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to countries that refrain from receiving their citizens or ignore the request of Kuwait in this regard.

Article Three states the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Finance should coordinate their efforts in forcing the concerned countries to pay the cost of shelter and medical services provided to their citizens during their stay in Kuwait and take legal action against them according to international law.

Article Four states the suspension of agreements and loans should be lifted only after making a new agreement. This action should not be taken unless an agreement is signed to resume normal relations between Kuwait and the concerned countries.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee MP Askar Al-Anzi praised the efforts exerted by Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh at a time the country is experiencing difficult circumstances due to the coronavirus crisis; especially the recent riot in a shelter for Residency Law violators.

He stressed the need to oblige the concerned countries to receive their citizens immediately, indicating national security is a red line that nobody should cross.

In another development, MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari underscored the need to reject bills submitted by parliamentarians or the government if these bills will have a negative impact on the rights, salaries and subsidies of Kuwaiti employees in the private sector. He pointed out these citizens need more protection and guarantees.

“Is it not enough for them to work in the private sector which lacks stability and sustainability?” he asked. On the other hand, the parliamentary Business Environment Improvement Committee on Monday met with Central Bank of Kuwait Governor Muhammad Al-Hashel and representatives of various public benefit societies.

Committee Chairman MP Yousef Al- Fadalah disclosed the meeting was aimed at establishing a link between societies keen on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the Economic Committee headed by Al-Hashel. He affirmed that his committee will hold more meetings with entities committed to take measures in support of SMEs, such as creating a joint market to help them overcome the coronavirus crisis.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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