KUWAIT CITY, Jan 20: Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman MP Hamad Al-Harshani said he was surprised when the Philippines announced its plan to stop sending workers to Kuwait. In a press statement, Al-Harshani pointed out that “Kuwait’s human rights record is clean. Expatriate workers obtain their rights as stipulated in their employment contracts which regulate the relationship between the employers and employees. Kuwait is considered a desirable destination to work for all nationalities.” He stressed, “It is regrettable that this decision comes from a friendly country due to one or two incidents. Kuwait is a State of freedom and institutions while its laws guarantee decent living for everyone, respect for human rights and individual abuses are dealt with through judicial channels.”
He expressed regret that such a stand was taken against Kuwait where more than 170,000 Filipinos are living a dignified life, just because of isolated cases whose number does not exceed the fingers in one hand. He also confirmed support for the statement of Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry on the issue.
On the other hand, Al-Harshani revealed the committee will meet on Monday to discuss draft laws in its agenda including the technical cooperation agreement between the governments of Kuwait, the Republic of Brazil, a draft law approving the Statute of the Economic Judiciary of the Gulf Cooperation Council, legal and judicial cooperation in addressing civil and commercial matters, personal and criminal status, and repatriation agreement between the State of Kuwait and the Arab Republic of Egypt. He added the agenda of the committee consists of other proposals such as Kuwaitization in embassies, consulates, attachés, health, information, cultural and other offices abroad by at least 80 percent of the total workforce.
He disclosed the committee will invite Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid and representatives of relevant government bodies to a meeting next week. He said that the committee is keen on finalizing discussion of all items on its agenda and refer them to the National Assembly for approval.
In another development, the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee discussed a report on the financial situation of the State for fiscal 2016/2017 prepared by the State Audit Bureau according to the mandate of the National Assembly in 1996. Committee Chairman MP Adnan Sayed AbdulSamad disclosed the data contained in the report are confidential, adding that the most important features will be presented on the day the government presents a draft bill on raising the ceiling of borrowing to KD 25 billion within a period of 20 years and a payment period of up to 30 years.
On the general reserve of the State, AbdulSamad confirmed the total reserve in the previous fiscal year declined as a result of covering the budget deficit that continued for four years. He also attributed the decline to low oil prices and the government’s huge financial withdrawals recently.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff