KUWAIT CITY, Aug 31: The parliamentary Human Resources Development Committee continued discussions on the bill about remedying the demographic imbalance with representatives of the concerned authorities; including the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) and Supreme Council for Planning and Development, says Rapporteur of the committee MP Osama Al-Shaheen.
Al-Shaheen disclosed that the committee listened to the comments of the representatives of the concerned authorities, such as the inclusion of the representatives of educational institutions like the Ministry of Higher Education and Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) to the members of the committee that will be tasked to follow up the enforcement of the law on demographics.
He said the aforementioned institutions will determine the specializations that the local labor market needs. He added an agreement has been reached to specify conditions for the exemption of some categories like diplomatic delegations, workers involved in development projects, expatriate workers needed for government contracts and domestic workers.
He pointed out these categories constitute 29 percent of the total number of expatriates. He revealed the committee will meet again within this week after receiving the opinion of the Ministry of Justice about the criminal penalties stipulated in the bill. He said the committee is expected to finish its report this week, which will be referred to the Parliament for inclusion in the agenda of the upcoming session.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Barrak Al-Shitan confirmed in a press conference that he attended the meeting of the parliamentary Financial Affairs during which he informed the committee that the government still needs the public loan. He praised the committee for understanding the situation which compels the government to push for this solution.
He affirmed that he listened to the comments of the committee about the recommendations to reduce the loan amount and the annual loans, in addition to decreasing the payment period for these loans. He recorded all the comments and he will send his reply to the committee soon.
On the other hand, Chairperson of the Financial Affairs Committee MP Safa’a Al-Hashem said the minister did not present a vision on the Public Loan Bill despite the fact that he withdrew the bill during the last session in order to make the necessary amendments in view of the MPs’ comments. She added the committee presented suggestions such as reducing the loan amount to KD 10 billion instead of KD 20 billion and reduce the period of the bill’s validity from 20 years to 10 years. She disclosed the two-week grace period for Al-Shitan to submit a new bill that is in line with the MP’s comments will end on Sept 7.
Also, MP Adel Al-Damkhi criticized some parties for putting pressure on Al- Shitan to resign even if he won the confidence of the Parliament twice. He addressed HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, saying the latter is the leader of the government and he should not submit to any pressure to change his decision.
He pointed out that several ministers have been grilled so far, wondering why only Al-Shitan is being asked to resign. In another development, MP Majed Al-Mutairi confirmed informing HH the Prime Minister about the suggestion to suspend the collection of loan payments for another six months. He said the premier promised to put the recommendation on the table of discussion in the session slated for Tuesday.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff