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Grilling motions drawn on Defense, Commerce

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 1: MP Hamdan Al-Azmi has submitted grilling motions against Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali and Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Essa Al-Salman. The grilling motion against the defense minister consists of three items as follows:

■ Decision issued on Oct 12, 2021 to allow women to occupy military support and medical jobs at Kuwait Army as soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers;

■ Strategy to illegally grant privileges and earn loyalty by promoting certain non-commissioned officers;

■ Financial and administrative violations, which led to enormous loss of public funds and negatively affected the rights of employees at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Al-Azmi cited an example of administrative violation — promoting employees at DGCA only because they are loyal to the director general of the directorate; thereby, negatively affecting the deserving employees who were disregarded in the promotion.

On the financial violations, Al-Azmi said the ministry did not collect the fine amounting to KD4.674 million imposed on a contracting company. Commenting on the grilling motion, Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali said he considers the grilling an opportunity to highlight the tremendous efforts that the ministry and DGCA have been exerting. He stressed the decisions issued by the ministry can neither be disregarded nor cancelled, including the decision to allow women to join Kuwait Army. He clarified this decision is aimed at supporting Kuwait Army like the other military institutions, including the State Security Department and National Guard.

Regarding the grilling motion against Al-Salman, Al-Azmi cited the phases of the decision to suspend the renewal of the work permits of expatriates who are 60 years old and above. He claimed that Al-Salman defamed Kuwait, intimidated senior officials and damaged public interests. He pointed out that as part of the efforts exerted by the State and the concerned institutions to address the demographic imbalance and the studies included in the decision issued by the chairman of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in July 2020 under the then Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mariam Al-Aqeel, the decision was taken to stop the renewal of the work permits of all expatriates who are 60 years old and above. He quoted former Minister of Commerce and Industry Faisal Al-Medlej as saying that there is no exception to the rule; but after negotiations with Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), they agreed on exempting expatriates 60 years old and above who own shares in companies whose capital exceeds KD100,000; as well as those holding diploma and higher studies certificates. According to the lawmaker, Al- Medlej admitted that he suggested imposing KD2,000 fee for the renewal of the work permits for these expatriates as a way for them to remain in the country.

He said this fee was approved unanimously in a meeting held on March 31, 2021 with the chairman of PAM, representatives of KCCI and Al-Medlej in attendance. He added the incumbent minister decided to punish the chairman of PAM, holding the latter responsible for the decision to impose the KD2,000 fee; thereby, damaging the reputation of Kuwait. He went on to say that this attitude of Al-Salman intimidates senior officials and prevents them from taking any decision. Instead, these officials have to wait for the decisions from the concerned ministers, he concluded. National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim has confirmed receiving the two grilling motions and informed His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid in accordance with the regulations. He said these grilling motions will be included in the agenda of the upcoming ordinary session.

On the other hand, Al-Ghanim recently met Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas. They discussed common regional and international issues, as well as ways to strengthen ties between the two friendly countries. Meanwhile, the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on Monday elected its chairman and rapporteur. MP Ahmad Al-Hamad disclosed that he and MP Shuaib Al- Muwaizri nominated themselves for the chairman seat, indicating he was declared chairman as he obtained four votes while Al-Muwaizri got three votes. He added MP Salman Al-Azmi was elected rapporteur. In addition, MP Fayez Al-Jomhour was elected chairman of the Housing Affairs Committee and MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi as rapporteur. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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