Saturday , November 25 2017

MPs mull 15-year residency cap on each expatriate – ‘Expats must not exceed 25% of local population’

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 6: Pending the Cabinet formation and return of the National Assembly for plenary sessions, the parliamentary committees have been holding series of meetings and the selection of chairmen and rapporteurs.

Chairman of the Finance Committee MP Salah Khorshed disclosed the committee deliberated on the population structure, amendment to Chamber of Commerce and Industry law, and Silk City.

They have decided to handle the issues until formation of the new Cabinet since there is no minister. Discussion on the population structure entails specifying that the number of expatriates do not exceed 25 percent of the population of Kuwaitis.

The Ministry of Interior also wants a stipulation of 15 years as the ceiling of residence for each expatriate, while hiring of workers should not exceed the need.

The Committee on Health has specified its priorities to be pursued during the current parliamentary round, which includes retirees’ health insurance bill in addition to new segments such as wives having special needs.

Others are the right of patients’ bill, establishment of medical cities, and the yet-to-be discussed mental health bill referred to the National Assembly since 2015.

The parliamentary Educational Affairs Committee discussed, in its second meeting Monday, the priorities and work plan for the current session. Committee Rapporteur MP Khalil Aboul disclosed that their priorities include a draft law submitted by the previous government to organize public universities. He said the committee will also discuss other proposals soon, such as the organization of private universities.

It will also meet with the Scholarships Department to talk about the requirements for admission to higher education institutions, he revealed. He added the committee will tackle educational sector issues like the supervisory posts in the Ministry of Education, support service jobs, fake certificates and fees in private schools.

On a separate issue, Aboul said the current situation in the region is critical; indicating His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had earlier conveyed a message to National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim: “We must carry out our duties and bear our responsibilities to deal with the current situation in the region.” He stressed the need for them to trust the Kuwaiti diplomacy and support decisions of HH the Amir.

Furthermore, MP Mohammed Al- Dalal stated that “the most important phase in the current period is the speech of His Highness the Anir at the opening of the legislative session.” He emphasized the need to stand in front of this speech, which focused on the security of Kuwait and dangers surrounding the country He pointed out that the Amir asked the MPs to be responsible, work based on the contents of his speech, strengthen the internal front, and stand behind His Highness in his efforts towards the reconciliation of Gulf States. “Security is a priority and we must act on it. The next government should be adept in risk management because of the incidents around us, in addition to an economy mentality,” he said.

He added a request will be submitted to the Parliament Speaker soon to form a tripartite committee to look into the preparations of concerned parties — Interior Ministry, Army, Commerce, Customs and all other concerned governmental bodies — in terms of dealing with dangerous regional circumstances.

Meanwhile, MP Mohammed Al Huwailah has presented a proposal to use ground sensors for traffic signals and helicopters to monitor the traffic situation. He said the State pays great attention to the traffic problem by finding the best solution; yet traffic jams remain the concern of citizens because of their social, economic and psychological effects. He asserted traffic congestion no longer happens during peak hours only as the country witnesses it almost round the clock; hence, the need for serious steps to address the problem.

He added that traffic signals are supposed to regulate traffic movement, but they often cause bottlenecks and accidents. He went on to say that scientific and technical developments in the world are now providing plausible solutions to the traffic problems that any country encounters, including Kuwait.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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