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Sunday , September 25 2022

Lawmakers submit bill to ‘compensate’ SMEs

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: MPs Osama Al- Shaheen, Ahmed Al-Hamad, Khalid Al-Anzi, Bader Al-Mullah and Hesham Al-Saleh have submitted a bill on granting compensation to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which incurred losses due to the lockdown imposed by the concerned authorities at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. The bill defines a small enterprise as an establishment with 50 workers maximum and a capital of KD250,000 maximum; while the medium enterprise has 51 to 150 workers and a maximum capital of KD500,000.

The bill stipulates that the owners of SMEs will be granted compensation equal to the operation expenses during the lockdown period including salaries and rent. It mandates the minister of commerce to lay down regulations on the disbursement of compensation and form committees to assess the applications for compensation and estimate the compensation. The National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Development shall specify the compensation amount and submit reports to the commerce minister who will then issue the disbursement decision. The compensation will be deposited in the bank account of the benificiaries.

The maximum amount of compensation is KD500,000; while it is not allowed to use the compensation for any purpose other than those stipulated in the bill. Anyone proven to have violated the regulations will be imprisoned for five years maximum or fined KD10,000 to KD200,000. The minister of commerce will issue the executive regulations to enforce this bill within two weeks after its publication in Kuwait Gazette.

MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji has presented a proposal to amend Article 45 of the Civil Service Decree for the year 1979. According to the bill, an employee who accompanies his relative for overseas treatment will be granted six months leave that can be extended for a similar period with full salary. The current article grants the six months leave with full salary, but the extension is unpaid. He pointed out it takes a long time to treat many diseases, so the companion needs to stay with the patient for a long time. In case he loses his salary, he will suffer a lot especially if he is the household head.

MP Hesham Al-Saleh submitted a bill to amend the decisions included in the Civil Service Decree concerning doctors and dentists. According to the bill, the shift and rare specialization allowances granted to doctors and dentists in the public sector will be considered part of their salaries which means the allowances will not be cut during their sick and annual leave days. A doctor engaged in private practice in addition to his job in the public sector will be granted the rare especialization allowance. Doctors and dentists who have been in service for 30 years will be granted their salary for one and a half year. He pointed out that this reward is currently granted to doctors once they retire at the age of 75. He added that many doctors passed away before they reached this age, so it will be better for them to receive the reward as soon as they complete 30 years in service. He explained that he submitted the bill based on the research he conducted on the reasons behind the increasing number of doctors who are resigning. He said the main reason is the low financial privileges granted to them, indicating that most doctors cannot engage in private practice due to the shift system in the public sector.

Moreover, a National Assembly delegation traveled to Turkey to participate in the 16th assembly of the Parliamentary Union of the of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States (PUIC) on Dec 9-10, 2021 in the Turkish Capital Istanbul. The delegation includes Secretary of Inter-Parliamentary. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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