MoCI delegation to visit countries exporting domestic labor
KUWAIT CITY, April 7: MP Faisal Al-Kandari praised the procedures taken by the ministries of Interior and Commerce in order to hold accountable the domestic labor offices proven to have violated the law. He also lauded the interior minister and other ministry officials for conducting investigations, which led to the discovery of violations committed by some domestic labor offices.
He commended Minister of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) Khaled Al-Roudhan for canceling the licenses of 116 domestic labor offices that violated the Domestic Labor Law. He pointed out this action is a manifestation of the government’s wise stance in terms of addressing the domestic labor crisis. He urged the minister to continue taking such steps in order to hold responsible other domestic labor offices which manipulate prices and take advantage of families’ need for domestic workers, especially before Ramadan.
He added these offices have emptied the pockets of citizens and they have not complied with the decision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on the maximum fee for recruiting domestic workers. He also called on the Ministry of Interior to allow other countries to send domestic workers to Kuwait, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instruct Kuwaiti embassies to coordinate with countries that can provide workers.
Meanwhile, MP Nayef Al-Mirdas urged Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Subaih to cancel the Charitable Work Law and allow all concerned parties to participate in the preparation of a comprehensive law.
Al-Mirdas stressed the charitable work in the country is considered a lighthouse which made Kuwait the humanitarian center in the world; hence, the need for the government and civil society organizations to protect humanitarian and charitable works. He pointed out it is better if civil society organizations take part in making decisions related to management of humanitarian and charitable works under the supervision of the executive and legislative authorities.
He said this is a good way of spreading goodness and peace as per the teachings of Islam, in addition to raising the name of Kuwait in international forums.
He cited comments about the existing law as follows:
■ Failure to address the demand of the Parliament to put charitable and civil works under the supervision of an independent body called, ‘Voluntary Work Authority’.
■ The minister had earlier planned to apply this law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but she rescinded after the institutions and NGO’s voiced strong objection to its articles and clauses.
■ Proposals submitted by former and current MPs and ministers on regulating charitable and civil works were not taken into consideration.
In another development, the Parliamentary Priorities Committee will finalize discussions about the work plan for the current legislative round in the presence of three ministers on Sunday, in addition to reviewing the agenda for the next parliamentary session.
The Economic and Financial Affairs Committee is keen on finalizing its vision to amend some provisions of the Social Security Law, particularly the reduction of retirement age and refund of social security contributions. The committee asked Minister of Finance Nayef Al-Hajraf to brief them on the three scenarios prepared by the company tasked to study the proposals to reduce the retirement age and refund social security contributions.
On the other hand, the Environmental Affairs Committee has looked into a number of issues; such as the Sulaibiyah wastewater treatment plant, electrical requirements for its operation, environmental protection commitment of power and water distillation plants, renovation of the area adjacent to cement factories, and decision of the Higher Petroleum Council on fuel pricing for the Ministry of Electricity and Water. Moreover, the Public Funds Protection Committee will soon discuss issues related to Kuwait Investment Company and Kuwait Real Estate Company which is under Kuwait Investment Authority, particularly the controversial sale of a private company owned by Kuwait Real Estate Company.
Furthermore, Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Roudhan said there are many decisions that will be taken to deal with the issue of domestic workers and facilitate their recruitment procedures, reports Al-Anba daily. Speaking to the daily, Al-Roudhan said the ministry is coordinating with different government institutions such as the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs and the Public Authority for Manpower to take relevant measures and decisions concerning the import of foreign labor. He pointed out the Ministry of Commerce is playing its role as per the recommendations issued by the Council of Minister. He also said delegations will visit the countries exporting domestic labor to explore all possibilities. He explained a plan will be drawn for the benefit of visiting delegations to countries to bring domestic labor in coordination with all institutions this week after decisions taken in this regard.
In the same context, a parliamentary source confirmed the intention to form a committee of inquiry to consider the problem of domestic workers in the event that the necessary procedures are not taken by the competent authorities. In this context, MP Faisal Al-Kandari praised the procedures taken by the Ministries of Interior and Commerce and Industry regarding holding accountable the violating domestic labor offices.
MP Salah Khurshid has apraised the decisions taken by the government in this context; although he went on to say the government appears confused on the issue of the cost of hiring a domestic worker. He called on the government to open the way for hiring domestic workers from different countries.
He said some influential domestic labor offices owners are capable of disturbing the steps taken by the government. He pointed out it is strange the Parliament its engaged in the issue while the government is too confused.
He added it is not good news that the cost of hiring a domestic labor is KD 990 and said the cost of hiring a household helper should be in line with neighboring countries.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff