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MP targets expatriate remittances in queries – Monitoring … tax

KUWAIT CITY, March 16: MP Khalil Al-Saleh disclosed the remittances of the expatriates over a five-year period from 2010 to 2014 have reached 2.19 billion dinars apart from the unofficial remittances and wants to know if the authorities have any intention of imposing tax on money transfers.

He said the remittances should have been monitored by the concerned authorities to verify if the money sent is commensurate with their income given the sensitive security situation faced by Kuwait and the region.

Al-Saleh called on the government to make every possible effort to determine the safety of such transfers and ensure they are not linked to terrorism or money-laundering especially since the remittances by the expats are considered one of the highest in the region and has been looked upon a kind of mechanism that attracts expatriates to Kuwait.

In this respect, Al-Saleh has submitted queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh wanting to know who is responsible for monitoring the remittances of the expats and whether any mechanism has been put in place to monitor money transfers. “If there is any mechanism, kindly provide me details and if not, why does the Ministry not put in place a specific mechanism to control money transfers,” he said.

He also wants to know if there are periodic reports on remittances of expats being submitted to the Ministry, particularly in case if there is suspicious movement of money. He has asked for details, if any.

He also wants to know the total amount sent by expatriates over the past two years to date and what are the procedures put in place in case the ministry or the concerned authorities detect wrongdoing in the remittances of the expatriates compared to the size of their incomes and if there are such procedures then what cases were discovered and what was the difference in money earned and money transferred over the past five years until date and what are the measures taken against wrongdoers?

He wants to know if the Central Bank of Kuwait or the Ministry of Finance has received security reports by the Ministry of the Interior or the concerned authorities regarding expat’s remittances or having doubts about it. Kindly explain this and measures taken against that if found?

He also wants to know if there are statistics about the number of suspicious remittances or investigations carried out by the competent authorities. “Kindly provide me the statistics of the past five years to date?

Also tell me if the Ministry has intention or a plan or study to impose a tax or a fee on expat’s remittances or mechanism to direct these remittances to inside this country? Please specify if any,” he said.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Nabil Al-Fadhel has presented a proposal to the Ministry of Interior to subject drivers of public transport to complete health fitness tests and including eye test every six months.

Those failing the test should be barred from working as drivers. Explaining the reason of making this proposal, Al-Fadhel said at the moment there are a large number of transport vehicles (buses) plying on the streets, either belonging to Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) or private companies or vehicles for private schools and one of the school buses transporting students was involved in a traffic accident as a result of which a bus carrying school pupils was recently involved in an accident and many of them were wounded. He added the proposal is important because the safety of the lives of the people living in this country is the responsibility of the legislative and executive branches.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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