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Wednesday , December 2 2020

Panel set to endorse remittance tax – Violations carry fines, prison

KUWAIT CITY, May 29: The Legislative Affairs Committee in the Parliament will soon endorse the proposal to impose tax on expatriates’ remittances, reports Al-Shahid daily quoting sources.

Confirming that the government and Parliament have expressed support for the bill, sources disclosed the proposal is to impose two percent tax on remittances below KD 100, four percent on remittances ranging from KD 100 to KD 500, and five percent on remittances above KD 500.

Sources said the tax collected through these remittances will go directly to the State’s Treasury. Sources explained that tax will be collected through stamps to be issued by the Ministry of Finance while the money exchange companies and banks accredited by the ministry will be required to submit receipts to guarantee transparency of monitoring and auditing procedures.

Sources said any expatriate who will send money to his home country through other channels in order to avoid paying tax will be imprisoned for not more than six months and fined not more than KD 10,000.

It is worth mentioning that the total amount of remittances in the last five years reached almost KD 19 billion which is equal to the budget of the State for one year.

MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan has forwarded questions to Minister of Commerce and Industry Yusuf Ali on the implementation of Consumer Protection Law No. 39/2014, especially during Ramadan.

Al-Duwaisan asked about the policies of the ministry to activate its oversight role in protecting consumers, number of complaints it received in the last three months, number of cases filed, and actions taken to address price increase issues.

The lawmaker pointed out that two years ago, the National Assembly ratified the law on consumer protection.

He said Chapter Two of the law stipulates establishment of the National Consumer Protection Committee, headed by the minister, to implement this law in line with the decision of the Commerce and Industry Ministry. It shall focus on consumer protection and safeguarding the interests of consumers.

The committee consists of a deputy chairman and members from a number of government agencies, whose rank should not be less than that of an assistant undersecretary or its equivalent. He added the committee’s functions include laying down a general policy, plans or programs to protect consumers; receiving complaints from consumers and consumer protection associations; investigating such complaints; informing the competent authorities; and filing cases in the interest of consumers.

Meanwhile, MP Ali Al-Khamis has submitted queries to Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud about Al-Anwar TV. He wants to know if the Ministry of Information issued a license to the channel, if channel’s headquarters is located in Kuwait, and if its space programs are broadcasted through the State of Kuwait.

He also requested for a copy of the channel’s license, information about the director general, list of people licensed to work in the channel, total number of employees and copies of their work contracts. On the other hand, MP Askar Al-Anezi criticized the Kuwait Municipality’s decision to cut electricity from a number of residential units in Jahra due to violations.

He asserted the Municipality did not even consider the fact that the citizens living in those residential units include children, women and elderly who will suffer without electricity due to the hot weather. He said the decision was executed in an abrupt manner, without issuing notices or warnings for the erring residents to rectify their errors. He then urged Minister of Communications and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Eissa Al-Kandari to ensure reconnection of electricity to these houses.

Agreeing with his colleague, MP Madhi Al- Hajri added it is unacceptable that the government turns a blind eye on grave violations committed by numerous bodies and cost the country millions, but hastens to punish the less fortunate citizens who were not even given a notice or warning prior to the power disconnection

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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